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Exercise allows blue light services to work together in realistic environment

FIREFIGHTERS, police officers and paramedics come together to deal with the aftermath of a serious simulated smash that resulted in many casualties.

The event took months of planning and allowed staff members from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to be tested as part of the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP) validation process.

Three fire engines, the Technical Response Unit from Leigh and the Command Support Unit were joined by crews from Salford, Bolton Central, Wigan and Leigh at GMFRS' Incident Command Academy (ICA) training venue at Leigh Fire Station.

The scenario depicted a police chase that ended up in a severe road traffic collision involving a tanker, a building and several cars - leaving several people injured and a police officer fatality.

ICA Manager Kevin O'Connor from GMFRS said: "The exercise was the culmination of over nine months of development and planning and we are very pleased at how things went on the day.

"The reason for these exercises was to confirm the level of interoperability between the three blue light services and in particular the interchange of communications and information.

"The exercise was repeated three times to allow operational and tactical commanders from the three services to be verified by observers from JESIP.

"We were tested on how effectively we work together, how we co-locate command functions and whether relevant information was effectively communicated throughout the incident, amongst other things."

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The three services worked together as they would in a real incident to tackle what faced them, with the TRU and fire crews working to cut people from cars and paramedics treating the casualties. The police provided support in the management of scene preservation, investigation and the collation of evidence.

The exercise was further enhanced by the inclusion of the Casualty Union, who simulated significant injury to test the triage and assessment of casualties by all the services.

Last update: 23/03/2016 08:19:25
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