Greater Manchester firefighters train for terrorist attacks

GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is continuing to ensure all firefighters are trained and prepared to respond to terrorist attacks, alongside emergency service partners.

On Monday 30 January 2023, firefighters from Wigan and Bolton stations took part in a training exercise which saw them respond to a mock marauding terror attack scenario, alongside emergency service colleagues from Greater Manchester Police’s Firearms Unit, North West Ambulance Service and North West Fire Control.

The Service’s new capability will ensure all firefighters are trained to assist in the treatment and rescue of people in the event of a terrorist attack, whilst ensuring they are safe. This involves firefighters undergoing three days of training. The first two days focus on trauma, with day three seeing firefighters take part in a live play multi-agency exercise with emergency service partners.  

Exercise Momentum, which took part at Leigh Sports Village, was delivered to build on this training and put skills into practice with emergency service partners.

 GMFRS’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Ben Norman, said: “The threat of a terror attack is deeply worrying but sadly it is a reality we face here in Greater Manchester. That is why it is imperative that we are well trained, well equipped and well prepared to ensure we can respond effectively to help people if we are ever called upon.  

“As well as keeping the public safe, the safety of our firefighters is an absolute priority. We have established a more resilient marauding terrorist attack capability for Greater Manchester, by increasing our capacity and capability, which sees every firefighter being fully trained and every fire appliance better equipped to respond to all forms of terrorist or mass casualty incident.

“Regular training exercises such as this allow us to continue to put our collective emergency service response into practice so we can ensure we’re always ready.”

Marauding Terrorist Attack training is continuing until all 1,200 operational crews and officers have undertaken three days of training. Every fire appliance in Greater Manchester will also be equipped with specialist PPE for crews to wear if they are called to a marauding terrorist attack or mass casualty incident. North West Fire Control also take part in the training.

GMP Assistant Chief Constable Wasim Chaudhry, head of Local Resilience Forum for Greater Manchester, said: "I am pleased to say the event was extremely useful and I was encouraged that so many colleagues were able to take part. Joint multiagency training, testing and exercising is extremely valuable. Exercises such as this are an opportunity to test the ability of police officers, staff and partner agencies to work together to deliver an outstanding service, whilst keeping people safe and caring for victims.”

 Steve Hynes, Assistant Director of Resilience at NWAS said: “Whilst we regularly conduct training and exercises within NWAS, collaboration with our blue light partners is vital if we are to provide a seamless joint response to the public. Exercises such as these are crucial to test our combined resilience and preparedness for major incidents.”

Article Published: 02/02/2023 14:47 PM