Testing the multi-agency response to a major incident

Murray MacGregor – Friday 4th October 2019 – 8.16am.

We hope we never have to deal with an incident where we are faced with dozens of seriously injured casualties, but in this day and age, it is vital that we make sure we are prepared to do just that.

On Wednesday, all three emergency services took part in a large scale exercise in Albrighton. As you can see from the pictures, there were badly damaged cars and almost 100 live casualties; all in all a frightening prospect for the first crews on scene.

The exercise was put together by one of our Tactical Incident Commanders, Greig Smith along with Emergency Planning Manager Keith Nevitt and HART Training Manager Ed Middleton. As well as colleagues from West Midlands Police, Shropshire Fire and Rescue and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, it also tested lots of West Midlands Ambulance Service staff.

It brought together 13 ambulance crews from across the Region, the training team from our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) including an aerial drone, a MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic, over a dozen operational commanders and a range of other senior commanders; over 50 staff in total.

Greig said: “It was designed to be an extremely testing exercise with complex tasks and real challenges for the staff involved.  It provided a great training opportunity to experience a large scale multi-agency exercise.

“We were very lucky to be able to have around 90 ‘casualties’ some of whom played the part of being very seriously injured.

“These exercises are designed to test our training and always provide learning, but what was absolutely clear was the extraordinary level of commitment from all of those involved, whichever service they were representing.

“This will undoubtedly help us develop our capabilities even further so that we are as prepared as we can be for the future, whatever that may hold.”


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