FIREFIGHTERS and staff have been involved in a multi-agency exercise to test emergency response and resilience plans for terrorism related incidents within Staffordshire.
For several months exercise co-ordinators from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have been formulating a sequence of scenarios designed to test the Service and partners across the board. On Thursday September 14, 190 firefighters along with 50 support staff were all called to action, 27 fire appliances were involved in the day.
The exercise included a range of terrorist related ‘incidents’ which unfolded within Staffordshire and communities may have noticed the presence of firefighters, fire appliances, and other emergency services in the Rugeley, Burton-upon-Trent and Alrewas areas. The Service used social media to reassure the public about the increased activity.
Chief Fire Officer Becci Bryant said: “Firstly, we would like to acknowledge the awful incident that took place in London on Friday morning, our thoughts are very much with those involved and the emergency responders who attended.
“This terrible event really emphasises the importance of exercises such as the one we carried out last week. It is essential that we are prepared and equipped to act quickly and effectively with our partners to keep the community of Staffordshire safe.
“The exercise has been months in the making and has been well and truly kept under wraps so that firefighters, staff and partners could respond as spontaneously as possible. It proved to be a valuable day, with some exceptional team work but also some real development opportunities identified. Of course I hope that we never have to put our well-laid emergency plans into practice for real and I want to stress that there is absolutely nothing to indicate that there is a specific threat to Staffordshire.
“However, with the UK threat level remaining at severe it is important we and our partners are prepared as we possibly can be. Our communities can be reassured that we work closely with our colleagues at the police and ambulance service to ensure that our staff are appropriately trained and prepared to respond in the event of a localised incident.
“The recent events in London are an important reminder to remain alert but not alarmed, and to remember the important run, hide, tell advice. If you’re concerned about anything suspicious please report it via the anti-terrorism hotline on 0800 789 321 or ring 999 and ask for the Police.”