GALLERY: Mock exercise in Whittlesey to test how services react to an emergency

Emergency rest centre at the Manor Leisure Centre, in Whittlesey. Fenland District Council members

Emergency rest centre at the Manor Leisure Centre, in Whittlesey. Fenland District Council members of the public helped gave its staff to extra training in managing an emergency rest centre. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A chemical tanker lorry crashes and bursts into flames causing mayhem and leaving local residents needing to be evacuated.

Emergency rest centre at the Manor Leisure Centre, in Whittlesey. Fenland District Council members

Emergency rest centre at the Manor Leisure Centre, in Whittlesey. Fenland District Council members of the public helped gave its staff to extra training in managing an emergency rest centre. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Luckily, the incident is just a mock-up created to train emergency teams to deal with a 999 situation.

Around 60 volunteers and two dogs joined the exercise, held at Manor Leisure Centre in Whittlesey, to recreate setting up evacuating residents to a rest centre in an emergency.

Exercise Hotfoot involved the scenario of a chemical tanker which had crashed into another lorry, resulting in an explosion and fire that spread to nearby homes, leading to the evacuation of local residents.

Fenland District councillor David Oliver, cabinet member responsible for community safety, said: “In any emergency the council has a statutory duty to set up a rest centre to provide shelter and support to anyone temporarily forced out of their homes.


You may also want to watch:


“It was a really useful exercise for everyone involved. These type of things are all about learning which bits work well and what could be improved.

“Now we can take those lessons away and make any necessary adjustments to our procedures to ensure that everything works as smoothly as possible in a real emergency.

Most Read

“I’d like to thank all those members of the community who came along and help make the training as realistic as possible.”

Tony Smith, the British Red Cross’s local emergency planning and response officer, said: “We do these sort of things all the time and this was one of the best we’ve done in the past few years. The set-up was really good.”

The volunteers were registered, looked after and kept up to date with information about the unfolding situation.

As part of the training anyone with pets left them at a designated pet care area.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter