Training exercise tests firefighters' search and rescue skills

USAR use camera Firefighters from Weston-super-Mare Fire Station were joined by their colleagues from the Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team for an exercise involving a collapsed building.

On Monday 20 October firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were called to a derelict building in Woodhurst Road, at the rear of the fire station.

The scenario involved the search for and rescue of ‘casualties’ who were trapped in the building, which had ‘collapsed’.

Firefighters made entry into the building by breaching a wall to rescue the casualties.

Firefighter rescuedThe building used for the exercise is no longer in use and is due to be demolished by Elderfield Developments.

Weston-super-Mare Fire Station Manager, Jon Brown, said: “This was a great opportunity to test the skills and protocols of our operational crews in realistic conditions.

"Often when we carry out training exercises like this we cannot physically cut into buildings and use our equipment fully.

"We are very grateful to Elderfield Developments for the opportunity to use this building before it is demolished.

Firefighter carried to safety“The exercise enabled our firefighters and the USAR team to work together to test their cutting techniques and other skills to ensure that in the event of a real incident of this nature we are fully prepared and ready to respond.”

Liz Buckingham, Director, Elderfield Developments Limited commented:  “The fire and rescue service perform a vital role in the community so we are very pleased to co-operate with this exercise.

"The building, shortly to be demolished to make way for four houses, presents the perfect opportunity for real-life training.”