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Firefighters tackle 'emergency' following an 'explosion' in Tenbury
10:41am Monday 18th March 2013 in News
A SIMULATED explosion took place in Tenbury resulting in fire fighters from all over the local area converging upon the town.
It was a major exercise to test how effective the fire service could respond to a major incident in the town when at the same time other emergencies were on-going in other parts of the county.
The incident was one of three staged simultaneously in Worcestershire during a major emergency exercise.
It was staged in Tenbury at the former Lloyds premises in the town and the basis of the exercise was a large scale explosion.
“I am pleased that Tenbury have been chosen as one of the locations for the exercise,” said David James, of Tenbury watch commander at Tenbury fire station.
The exercise at the level of a major emergency involved local firefighters with support from neighbouring stations entering the building after the explosion.
Making the situation more difficult was the fact that two other simulated emergencies were taking place at other locations in Worcestershire at the same time.
The two other ‘emergencies’ were a chemical incident at a unit on an industrial estate in Evesham and a contamination in Droitwich.
Fire chiefs said that the idea of Exercise Cerberus that was staged yesterday, Sunday March 17, was to see how the force was able to handled a number of serious incidents at the same time.
Firefighters were kept largely in the dark ahead of the exercise so it would prove to be a serious test although some advance notice was given so that people living in the areas affected would not be unduly alarmed.
At Tenbury the scenario was an explosion at the premises of the former Richard Lloyd Transport in Borreston Lane.
There was a massive fire service presence with two engines from Tenbury, and one from Ludlow, Bromyard, Leominster and Kingsland.
A team from the special urban rescue unit was also involved to lead a search of the building. This involved at one stage drilling a hole in a wall and using a remote camera.
Fire fighters were in full emergency kit including breathing apparatus.
Tenbury has two fire engines based in the station on the A456 in Burford.
Like many rural fire stations it uses retained crews and has had problems in the past finding enough firefighters although there has been a successful recent recruitment drive.
Retained firefighters are not full time but need to be available to be called out when needed and live or work within a short travelling time of their station.
They are provide with full training and paid a basic salary that is topped up with duty pay when they are called to incidents.