Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Brightling Mine Emergency Exercise hailed a success

A high level training exercise was successfully carried out yesterday (21st October) in Brightling Mine.

The simulated underground rescue saw East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service working closely alongside Sussex Police, Sussex Ambulance, Brightling Mine and Mines Rescue to test the skills of the emergency services in a pressurised environment.

Multi-agency exercises are carried out regularly to enhance contingency planning and incident command capabilities.

Exercise Director Paul Sundaram-Hardwicke said: “It is imperative to test these contingency plans which enables East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service improve service and capabilities.

“It is important to test our skills in a challenging environment, in the event of a scenario of such magnitude.

“The scenario for the exercise was that an accident occurred at the working face of the mine resulting in persons being seriously injured. Mine staff were already on the scene administering first aid – as would be expected in a real event. The Mine's Management also used the exercise as a training event for their staff.

“The scene of the accident was located a significant distance underground with Brightling Mine management making the initial call to emergency services using the 999 system, prefixing the call with the appropriate password. ESFRS appliances were mobilised from their normal work base.

“The mine is a very alien environment when entering for the first time and it is therefore beneficial to test our rescue operations in such a place.

“An exercise such as this also gives our staff the opportunity to work closely with the other emergency services in a challenging situation.

“This exercise forms part of the ESFRS response plan to an underground incident, and is not necessarily Brightling Mine specific.

“The purpose of the exercise was to test key elements of the plan’s process and response at both a Strategic and Tactical level.”

The exercise was a success with resource requirements put to the test and all casualties rescued.

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