The LMB and Cambridge Fire and Rescue Service recently held a joint training exercise, involving six teams from across the region, a silver command unit and a HMEPO (Hazardous Materials and Environmental Protection Officer).
The collaboration was initiated after members of the local Fire Authority visited the LMB on a routine visit. They were hugely impressed with the building, and its potential to be used in training exercises. Large buildings offer an excellent opportunity to model extreme scenarios and the LMB is particularly suitable as the laboratory setting provides specialist risks not encountered in typical training exercises.
The mock scenario was based around a large chemical spillage outside the building, which produced a toxic gas cloud and resulted in a number of casualties. This allowed the teams involved to practise their decontamination steps and provided an opportunity for those trained to use gas tight suits.
The collaboration was a hugely positive event for all involved. The LMB benefited from having its procedures scrutinised by external specialists, whilst the fire crews gained much experience from the practical exercise. The exercise coordinator, Darren Thompson from Cambridge Fire and Rescue Service, commented, “Having the opportunity to find locations and scenarios within our communities offers great realistic training for the fire service with the benefits of building relations, improving local knowledge and the way we respond to incidents. Thanks to the LMB for the opportunity.”