Emergency crews in disaster simulation exercise

Residents have paid for a new defibrillator which has been installed on the wall of a shop in Castle Road, Southsea. (left to right), Paul Lombardi, shop owner Clive Padfield and Paul's wife, Marilyn.

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EMERGENCY teams are preparing to deal with hurricanes, oil leaks and a refugee crisis in an upcoming disaster simulation.

The event is being run by the University of Portsmouth, Hampshire Fire and Rescue, RedR and L2S2.

From May 15 to May 17, the simulation will be based around a major storm or hurricane that brings heavy winds and rains resulting in coastal and inland flooding, environmental pollution and major infrastructural damage.

The teams will have to tackle an oil tanker breaking loose and causing a major spill, the rescue of 100 casualties from Solent Water and the rescue of dozens of children from a collapsed school.

The SIMEX Series exercise, which started in 2012, tests both national and international emergency response mechanisms.

Putting emergency services personnel through their paces, it reviews disaster event response plans, policies and procedures.

The exercise will take place across 18 sites in Hampshire and involve more than 3,000 people.

Phil Crook of Hampshire Fire and Rescue said: ‘We are regularly called upon to help in the aftermath of international disasters.

‘Exercises like this are vital in developing and maintaining our skills,

‘This kind of scenario gives you a level of realism you can’t recreate on the drill yard or classroom – they help us keep people safe.’