Training exercise at Hereford Cathedral
The exercise was held between 10am and 1pm on Wednesday 16 November at Hereford Cathedral, off Cathedral Close in the heart of Hereford city centre, and involved two fire engines and the Aerial Ladder Platform from Hereford fire station.
The exercise simulated a serious fire at the cathedral and aimed to test both the preventative measures and the operational response to a serious incident at the heritage building. In particular, H&WFRS wanted to test its procedures for supplementing water from the River Wye in the event of a major fire at the cathedral and to work out the best siting arrangements for its aerial ladder platform following the changes to the layout of Cathedral Close.
Station Commander Sean Bailey from H&WFRS explained: "Exercises of this kind are an invaluable part of our training, helping us to ensure that preventative measures are in place and that our operational response to a major incident at a building like Hereford Cathedral takes into account its cultural significance and its importance to the local community.
"Wednesday's exercise allowed us to test our procedures for sourcing water directly from the River Wye and relaying it efficiently to the cathedral site to ensure adequate water supplies for firefighting in the event of a serious fire, and we also used the aerial ladder platform to good effect to provide an aerial view of the site and for firefighting at height.
"Passers-by were certainly very interested to see our firefighters in action at the cathedral and we hope they will be reassured to learn just how successful the exercise was. It will help us refine our major incident planning for the cathedral itself and also at other sites across the two counties located near open water or involving buildings of heritage importance. "
He said that the Fire Service works very closely with the cathedral authorities in Hereford and he thanked them for their cooperation with this latest exercise.