Friday 10th May 2013 – 4.30pm – Chris Kowalik.
West Midlands Ambulance Service has today taken part in “the most significant” training exercise ever to test the emergency services’ response to a major mass casualty incident.
Ambulance crews, senior officers, emergency preparedness managers, the Hazardous Area Response Team and a number of major incident vehicles attended the incident called Exercise Amber 2 at Swynnerton Training Camp in Staffordshire today.
They were joined in the live-play exercise by teams and resources from England’s nine other ambulance services, several police forces, fire and rescue services, air ambulances, the military and voluntary groups.
There were around 130 ‘casualties’ acted mostly by paramedic and nursing students from the University of Worcester, Coventry University and Staffordshire University.
Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “It is the most significant exercise that NHS ambulance services have ever conducted with our partner agencies in this country.
“This event is about assessing and demonstrating our joint working procedures, in making sure that in the event of a highly challenging, large scale untoward incident, the ambulance services can integrate quickly to respond effectively to treat the casualties and save as many lives as possible under the most extreme circumstances.
“Of course, we all hope that situations such as the scenario we exercised today will not happen in real life, however the reality is that as part of the emergency services we are mandated to deal with a wide variety of incidents so it is vital we are prepared.”
Exercise Amber 2 was organised by the National Ambulance Resilience Unit (NARU). Exercise Director David Bull, the NARU Head of Education, said: “The Ambulance Service response capabilities for mass casualty incidents have developed significantly over the past ten years, in terms of equipment, infrastructure and staff, and it is the same for our partners in fire and police.
“It is therefore vital that we run exercises like Amber 2 with our colleagues across the emergency services spectrum, helping us really emphasise the patient as the primary focus for emergency services staff who find themselves on-scene at particularly challenging incidents.
“There is no doubt that these exercises help us to learn more about working with each other to save lives in a dynamic and highly realistic environment and therefore help us to be better prepared if the real thing happens.”
Note to Editors
The NARU Communications & Stakeholder Engagement Lead Carl Rees will be the first point of call for any queries for any communications issues, including logos and photos related to Exercise Amber 2. Carl can be contacted via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone or text message: 07958 547727.