Bells ring for firefighters on Peterborough Cathedral training mission

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Firefighters reached for the skies in a dramatic rescue training session at Peterborough Cathedral.

Firefighters and officers involved in the exercise, which took place at Peterborough Cathedral on Tuesday (April 28), wanted to test the high-rise procedure for the cathedral and experience the hazards and risks associated with carrying out a complicated rescue.

The scenario was a fire in the bell tower of the cathedral and the bell ringers were unaccounted for. Crews from Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade, Yaxley and Stanground, which utilised its MultiStar aerial capability, attended, as did Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Incident Command Unit.

Watch Commander Darren Thompson, who organised the exercise, said: “Thanks to the efforts and enthusiasm by everyone involved, this exercise ran smoothly and effectively. It was useful to gain greater knowledge of the building, which will assist with making tactical decisions if we were to deal with an incident at the cathedral.

“We really appreciate local sites like Peterborough Cathedral allowing us to use their facilities as it adds a greater training challenge for the firefighters who continually strive to expand their knowledge and develop their skill sets.”

Staff at the cathedral said it was a good opportunity to experience what would happen in a fire and rescue situation.

We were assured and most gratified that should the worst occur we will be in very capable and competent hands.

Mike Goodall

Mike Goodall, one of the cathedral volunteers, added: “The real benefit from the experience was to see at first hand the professionalism of the fire service. We were assured and most gratified that should the worst occur we will be in very capable and competent hands.”