Training exercise keeps Peterborough firefighters busy

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Exploding cylinders, the closure of a railway line and a missing person in a fire-filled trailer – fire crews had their work cut out for them at an intense training exercise thanks to a Peterborough business.

More than 25 firefighters and officers were involved at the exercise which took place at Peterborough Calor Centre, in Ivatt Way, Westwood, to further educate crews on operational risks, safe systems of working and firefighting techniques.

The scenario was a trailer fire involving numerous cylinders and a missing person, which in a real life situation would pose a great risk to firefighters and those in the nearby vicinity.

Watch Commander Rob Allport, from Stanground Fire Station and organiser of the exercise, said: “It was a challenging exercise with lots to think about. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus first had to carry out a snatch rescue of the missing person and then start knocking back the fire on the trailer. The next stage was to set up monitors to cool cylinders exposed to heat and start evacuating the area, which included the closure of the main East Coast railway, until the cylinders were deemed safe.”

Crews from Stanground, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough Volunteer Fire Brigade and Manea attended.

WC Allport added: “This venue was a great opportunity to carry out training in a realistic environment, where additional issues can arise from its location in a real-life situation. Although other agencies were simulated, it gave the incident commander and operational commanders real issues to deal with.

“We really appreciate local businesses like Peterborough Calor Centre 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. The exercise went extremely well and we would like to thank Calor Gas for having us.”

Peterborough Calor Centre Manager, Matthew Allen, added: “Calor has been operating safely for over 80 years and we welcome the opportunity to work with local emergency services to assist with their training and further their understanding of our business. We’re pleased that the exercise was a success and of benefit to all those involved.”