Training exercise held at cathedral
Two fire crews from Hereford were involved in Wednesday morning’s exercise (11 January), which aimed to help firefighters prepare for the possibility of a fire inside the cathedral tower. It followed a similar exercise in October last year when crews practised getting firefighting water from the River Wye to the cathedral.
Watch Commander Boris Borkowski from HWFRS said: “Hereford Cathedral represents the biggest heritage risk in Herefordshire and it’s vital that the Fire Service has tried and tested procedures in place for responding to an emergency at the site. “While the exercise held back in October concentrated on getting water to the premises, the focus of Wednesday’s training was to get breathing apparatus and firefighting equipment up at high level inside the cathedral tower.”
He praised the crews for their hard work during the exercise and confirmed that they had successfully hauled a hose from the altar area up into position within 20 minutes of the exercise starting.
He continued: “It’s vital that we can tackle a fire in the roof space as the ceilings in the cathedral are vaulted false ceilings which hide a very old oak-framed roof. This is very dry and probably presents the greatest risk in the premises.”
He said that HWFRS would continue to work closely with the cathedral authorities in Hereford and that the outcome of this latest training would be discussed with them with a view to further improving planning and procedures.