THE major incident capabilities of West Midlands Fire Service were put to the test last weekend and with great results.
The emergency planning exercise – codenamed Morpheus – saw 15 fire engines travelling in convoy on the M40 and other roads from Birmingham to the National Fire Service College at Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire.
The convoy was a key part of a special training exercise devised to test the West Midlands Fire Service’s response to a major incident. A total of 110 fire officers and support staff took part in the training.
Adrian Baldock, Station Commander and organiser of the exercise, said: “The exercise proved to be an excellent test of our staff and procedures for dealing with major incidents. Everyone who took part did so with the same energy and commitment you would expect from them during a real emergency.
“It is difficult to simulate the “real thing” but thanks to the planning team, all the staff who took part have really benefited from the experience. This in turn means we are more confident in dealing with large-scale emergencies and can reassure our communities about this.
“The complete simulation involved a major breathing apparatus search and rescue exercise at the Fire College Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire. The day also included special ‘convoy training’, the first time the West Midlands Fire Service has been tested in this way. It proved to be quite a visual spectacle for people along the route.
“We hope no-one was unduly alarmed by the sight of 15 fire engines in convoy on the public highway but this was necessary to prove our capability to respond to incidents far outside our normal borders.”