Thursday, 5 July 2012

ESFRS and university to hold training exercise

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and the University of Brighton will stage a joint decontamination training exercise next week.

Taking place on Tuesday 10th July, the exercise will see a group of students needing specialist decontamination following exposure to chemicals in a laboratory.

The twenty ‘casualties’ – played by university staff – will act as if they have been poisoned and will be taken to decontamination tents.

The emergency exercise will enable East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to practice command and control procedures at a large incident, their specialist training and to use their decontamination equipment in the university’s state-of-the-art building. It will also enable the university to test its health and safety procedures.    

The exercise, which will take place at the university’s Huxley Building, starts at 10am
and is expected to be over by 1pm. There should be no disruption caused and local residents should not be alarmed if they see emergency service vehicles and decontamination equipment in and around the building.

The University of Brighton’s Safety Advisor, Phil Thompson, said:

“Chemical spills and decontamination incidents are extremely rare. However, it is useful to work with partners to test our emergency procedures to ensure that we are fully prepared.”
Graham Rudman, ESFRS Station Commander, Roedean Fire Station, said:

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to exercise for this specific and specialist type of incident that occasionally the Service is faced with. The particular benefits of Brighton University providing us with the use of their premises and having their staff role play during a hazardous material incident, provides the exercise with realism.

“It will be a relatively large incident with a number of elements that will test our procedures and ability to work with partners such as Brighton & Hove City Council, the Ambulance Service and other specialist units.”

The university is required by the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 to be prepared for this and other types of major incident, and regularly works with the emergency services and partner health organisations to be able to coordinate responses to such situations.

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