Thursday, 5 June 2014

Firefighters prepare for emergency

Firefighters put their skills to the test at Southern Water’s new Peacehaven Wastewater Treatment Works.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service simulated a chemical spill at the state-of-the-art facility in Hoyle Road to carry out essential training last Friday (30th May).

The scenario involved a chemical leak from a delivery lorry, the fumes from which had rendered the driver unconscious.

The firefighters had to treat the driver, stop the chemical spill and clear the area – guided by Southern Water employees from the safety of the site’s control room.

The Environment Agency was also on-hand to provide advice and safety recommendations as the spill would pose a hazard to the environment and infrastructure.

Gary Pearson, Head of Operational Performance for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Training is an essential part of our job and doing exercises such as these on an active site means we are able to plan for similar real-life instances and identify opportunities to improve our response.

“We are constantly out on training exercises which is not only good for our individual and group learning but also means we are able to build solid relationships within the community. We are thankful to Southern Water, and everyone involved, for their co-operation in this important training exercise.”

Kevin Short, Southern Water’s manager for the site, said: “We were delighted to be able to help East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service with their training exercise and we are working with them to continually improve our own emergency strategy.”

The treatment works at Peacehaven ensures that the 95 million litres of wastewater produced each day by people in Peacehaven, Telscombe Cliffs, Saltdean, Rottingdean, Ovingdean and Brighton and Hove is treated to the latest EU standards.

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