Urban Search and Rescue take part in major exercise

Wed 27 Apr, 2016

Firefighters from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service were among 40 Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) technicians taking part in a major incident exercise over the weekend.

The scenario was the aftermath of a late-evening gas explosion, resulting in several buildings collapsing and a large number of people reported missing.

The exercise was hosted by Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Service and took place at their training facility at RAF Waddington. USAR teams from Essex, Leicestershire, Norfolk and West Midlands also took part.

Group Commander Phill Mould from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service said: “The teams worked hard and professionally throughout the night, utilising a range of specialist skills and equipment to rescue a number of trapped and injured people.”

The team of eight from Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service had to move two vehicles which were blocking their access point to one of the buildings, before using breaching and breaking equipment to break through the side of the building.

Access was then blocked by a number of steel girders, which had to be removed with hot-cutting equipment, and concrete and rubble, which had to be lifted and moved. The team then had to shore up part of the building to prevent further collapse.

Phill added: “The exercise was a huge success due to the dedication and professionalism of all of the teams that attended.

“I would like to thank Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Service for allowing us to train at their USAR base, and all the instructors and technicians for their enthusiasm and determination.”

The weekend also included a number of workshop learning exercises delivered by USAR instructors from each of the attending teams.