Water rescue exercise, Shobdon
The exercise, which took place at some private lakes near Shobdon Church on Sunday morning (19 February), aimed to test the Service's procedures for responding to a range of water rescue situations, from a bank side rescue to a more advanced rescue involving the launch of water craft.
It also aimed to test the three levels of water response within the Fire Service – 'water aware' firefighters, 'water first responders' and the Swift Water Rescue teams.
Crews from Eardisley, Kington, Leintwardine, Bromyard and Tenbury Wells participated in the exercise along with the Swift Water Rescue team from Hereford, a further rescue crew from Craven Arms (from neighbouring Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service), a team of paramedics and also a number of volunteers.
Station Commander Steve Jordan from HWFRS explained that Sunday's exercise was based on a simulated flash flooding incident in a recreational area, leaving a number of by-standers trapped by rising flood waters.
He said: "This was the first large scale exercise of its kind held in the Service.
"It was designed to test the relationship between the three levels of integrated water response within the Service, as well as inter-operability with a neighbouring service and other agencies.
"While there were a few minor learning points highlighted, the exercise was a major success and will pave the way for future exercises of this type."
He thanked representatives from the partner agencies involved in Sunday's exercise, and both the Community Safety Volunteers and other volunteers from Hereford & Worcester Fire Service for their help in making the training as realistic as possible.
He also passed on his thanks to the private landowner for providing access to the lakes, which doubled as two separate areas of the river during the exercise.