Fire crews use derelict home to practise rescue skills

PUBLISHED: 18:28 08 October 2007 | UPDATED: 23:06 28 May 2010

The firefighters in training

The firefighters in training

A FENLAND home which is due to be demolished provided crews with the perfect opportunity to practise their house fire rescue skills. The three-bedroom property in School Lane, Manea, complete with a separate hidden annex was attended by crews from Manea,

The firefighters in training

A FENLAND home which is due to be demolished provided crews with the perfect opportunity to practise their house fire rescue skills.

The three-bedroom property in School Lane, Manea, complete with a separate hidden annex was attended by crews from Manea, Chatteris, and March.

Nicknamed Exercise 'Scotney,' crews were told that a fire had broken out and that a number of immigrant workers were inside.

A smoke machine was used to fill the property with smoke to make the exercise as lifelike as possible.

The firefighters in training

Crews had no idea how many casualties they would have to rescue, or where they would be located.

"As the casualties were said to be immigrant land workers, fire-fighters were not given any further details as they progressed in the exercise," said a fire service spokesman.

"This represents the worst case scenario where crews are unable to communicate with the casualties they rescue, and cannot find out if anyone else is in the house."

Pete Jones, Watch Manager at Manea, said: "This was a really tough exercise for the crews, as they had to carry out the rescue with very limited information, due to the absence of English speaking residents.

"They were also in a building which had an unusual layout - as many older homes tend to have - which made it difficult to navigate in the dense smoke."

Crews managed to rescue all six casualties and used their first aid skills to treat one casualty with a cut arm and another who had heart problems.

The house was lent to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service for the exercise, is being demolished to make way for a new four bedroom house.

Mick Jackman, Operations and Training Support Officer, said: "The exercise highlighted areas that we need to improve on, such as their speed in locating the staircase in the annex building, which didn't follow a traditional design.

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