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Emergency responders come together for major training exercise

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On Sunday 11 October firefighters, ambulance crews and police officers gathered at the Fire Service College in Gloucestershire for Exercise Odin; a large-scale, multi-agency exercise.

Bodies lay strewn across the floor and the injured ran frantically from burning buildings as this year's exercise commenced. The scenario comprised of a firearms incident which led to simultaneous fires involving two large buildings: a hotel complex and a large industrial unit.

Approximately 200 staff from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS), West Midlands Fire Service, West Mercia Police and West Midlands Ambulance Service took part in the exercise. Police were tasked with securing the scene whilst fire crews later followed to tackle the fires and carry out rescues, and ambulance staff attended to the many casualties.

Designed by the three blue light services, the exercise aimed to test and evaluate the response of the emergency services and ultimately improve preparedness for a major incident in one of our city centres.. The Fire Service College offers some of the best training facilities in the UK and to traini in highly realistic situations also ensures that crews are well equipped and prepared to cope with whatever situations they may face. Last year's exercise, which took place at Worcester Shrub Hill railway station and the Severn Valley Railway in Kidderminster, involved a simulated large rail crash within a tunnel and a collision on the exit of the tunnel.

Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates said: "Service exercises are extremely worthwhile and crucial to ensuring our firefighters are able to respond to any emergency quickly, safely and effectively. Furthermore, training with our partners enables us to collectively test and ultimately improve multi-agency liaison and incident management so that we can jointly tackle any emergency situation in the most effective manner."

If you think you have what it takes to be an on-call firefighter and fancy joining HWFRS, please visit www.hwfire.org.uk to view all of the latest vacancies.

Issued by:
Jessica Chadwick
Corporate Communications Manager
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service
Tel: 01905 368 319