Emergency services take part in major incident exercise simulating chemical plant fire
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) hosted a multi-agency exercise at the riverside premises in North Shields.
Over the course of three hours, they were tested on their initial response to a report of a tanker that had caught fire subsequently spread to a nearby storage tank bund.
The exercise was one of many held at various premises subject to Control of Major Accident Hazard (COMAH) regulations.
It was designed by exercise planners at TWFRS to test communication between the agencies but also the logistics of managing a major incident at the site.
Area Manager Richie Rickaby, of TWFRS, said: “This exercise was a real test of how agencies come together to respond to a major incident and there has been a huge amount of learning.
“We have fantastic relationships with those partner agencies who took part in the exercise but it is really important that we continue to test our emergency plans.
“We carry out tests of this nature on a regular basis and we hope that they do reassure the public, and the sites in question, that we have stringent plans in place to keep our communities safe.”
Superintendent David Pickett, who took part in the exercise as Northumbria Police’s tactical commander, praised the fire service for organising the event.
He said: “It was great to collaborate with key partners and share learning as part of this exercise.
“Testing our collective response to major incidents is vital to make sure we are prepared and ready to respond in the most efficient way possible, if or when the time comes.
“I would like to take this opportunity to praise the hard work of the fire service for leading on this exercise and all those key agencies and organisations who were involved on the day – I hope this offers reassurance to the communities we serve.”