Fire crews fired up for training exercise - in pictures

On Call (retained) firefighters exercise at Monach Autos, off Frank Perkins Way in Peterborough. EMN-140212-230155009

On Call (retained) firefighters exercise at Monach Autos, off Frank Perkins Way in Peterborough. EMN-140212-230155009

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A dramatic smoke-filled rescue from fire crews took place in Peterborough last Tuesday night (2 December) - but only as part of a training exercise.

The scenario took place at the Monarch Automotive garage in Frank Perkins Way, Boongate, Peterborough.

The exercise involved four fire engines with six firemen on each being sent to the garage and rescuing dummies from the building.

Despite the planning and attention to detail required, it would have looked very real to onlookers if they had been passing nearby.

The training scenario was organised by Tony De Mattheis, chief officer at the Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade.

At the scene he said: “Fire control are aware. No doubt if people see smoke they will ring control and say so.

“It is realistic. All the kit is there and blue lights. It can look quite dramatic.”

The exercise involved crews from Whittlesey, Thorney and Sawtry, as well as the volunteer brigade.

All the fire engines started at the volunteer brigade’s base in Bourges Boulevard before setting off.

The garage was filled with fake smoke following a lengthy risk assessment, but no damage was caused to it.

The exercise will be beneficial to the crews and give them an understanding of how to deal with fires at large buildings in the future.

“This is about finding out different things about the building.

“It will be very good training for all the crews involved,” added Tony.

“Large buildings can have a lot of lorries and cars and the risk is always greater when vehicles are involved.

“For this exercise, practising search and rescue technique is the most important thing in large open buildings, and the management of lots of hoses.”

Duncan Exton, director at Monarch Automotive, was not worried about letting the fire crews try out their exercise in his garage.

“I had no concerns, I’m just happy to help. The volunteer brigade are a renowned and revered service in the town,” he said.

“It’s just nice to be able to give them a real building they can do something in.”