Emergency crews put through their paces in simulated scaffold collapse

Emergency crews take part in simulated scaffold collapse. Picture: CAMBRIDGESHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE.

Emergency crews take part in simulated scaffold collapse. Picture: CAMBRIDGESHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE. - Credit: Archant

Drowning casualties and injured construction workers were scattered along a busy hotspot of the River Nene as part of an emergency exercise on Tuesday.

Emergency crews take part in simulated scaffold collapse. Picture: CAMBRIDGESHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE.

Emergency crews take part in simulated scaffold collapse. Picture: CAMBRIDGESHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE. - Credit: Archant

Firefighters from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Dogsthorpe and Stanground stations joined paramedics from The East of England Ambulance Service Trust, Magpas Helimedix and staff from construction firm BAM Nuttall, which organised the exercise, for the drill.

The scenario was a scaffold collapse with live casualties played by members of Amputees in Action.

Crews from all the services had to hone skills to locate, extricate and treat a dozen live casualties who were covered in make up so they looked as realistic as possible.

Some casualties were in the river, a number were trapped under the railway bridge and others had been thrown on to the grass verge and footpath.

Emergency crews take part in simulated scaffold collapse. Picture: CAMBRIDGESHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE.

Emergency crews take part in simulated scaffold collapse. Picture: CAMBRIDGESHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE. - Credit: Archant


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CFRS station commander for Peterborough, Simon Newton said: “It was an excellent exercise for our crews to get involved in and I think the public enjoyed watching the emergency services training.

“Operationally, the scenario was a difficult task for crews and it required partnership working from all different agencies to deliver a successful outcome.

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“The casualties were incredible and their acting really kept crews on their toes in a tough environment.”

Magpas Doctor Jon Birks said: “Having taken part in major incident management courses, the exercise was a fantastic opportunity to put all that theoretical knowledge into practice.

“It was really useful to work alongside both the fire and rescue service and the ambulance teams so we could jointly practice our emergency response to a large scale incident.”

Gary Perkiss, from the ambulance service, said: “The exercise allowed us to practice working at height, next to, over, and in the water, and on a boat for a patient on the river edge.

“It really tested joint working for fire and ambulance staff, as well as good working with our Magpas colleagues.”

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