Training tests put fire crews under pressure

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FIRE crews have been put through their paces in three gruelling training exercises.

Firefighters were tested over the course of three exercises, ranging from a chlorine gas terror attack at a leisure centre to an acid spill and a mysterious white powder causing respiratory problems.

The scenarios covered initial operational response – the vital first minutes after crews arrive and the impact they can have before specialist teams reach the scene.

They involved a number of actors and other emergency service personnel.

Crew manager Frank Long said: ‘Should any of the incidents from the scenarios happen it is likely that local crews will arrive before our specialist HazMat teams.

‘The difference they can make in just a few minutes can be dramatic.

‘We have now run four sessions like this with small groups of firefighters and further exercises can be held at stations or appropriate outdoor locations.

‘Preparing for all possible incidents is invaluable in keeping the communities of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safe.’

Watch manager Antony Hurle said the exercises had been ‘invaluable’ for fire crews and emergency responders in preparing for such events.