Last week, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service took part in a large-scale firefighting exercise in Kirkby, Merseyside.
This high-rise exercise was planned to help test and embed learning from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. It involved firefighting crews from fire and rescue services across our region, including Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, and Cheshire.
10 fire engines, plus specialist vehicles including an aerial ladder platform, a command unit, and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s drone team took part.
The crews stress-tested equipment and evacuation tactics during a developing high-rise incident. Core aspects of the work included looking at how control room operators communicate with operational crews at the incident ground.
Students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) also volunteered to play residents inside the building. Part of the exercise included them placing 999 calls to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s control room and North West Fire Control, helping call handlers to test their own response.
Area Manager Neil Taylor said:
“This exercise was a great opportunity for us to further evaluate our high-rise response alongside colleagues from across the region.
“We don’t get too many chances to work with crews from all over the North West. The shared learning here will help all our fire and rescue services protect residents better.
“I’d like to thank Group Manager Phil Byrne for coordinating the exercise. It was a large amount of work to organise within just a matter of weeks.
“The volunteers from UCLan were fantastic and we’d like to thank them for their time and efforts.
“Huge thank you also to Livv Housing for allowing us to use its high-rise buildings. The value of learning in real-world environments can’t be underestimated.”