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Seven crews came together from across North Lincs for a training exercise designed to test teamwork, planning and search and rescue in a complex building in Scunthorpe.

Crews debriefing and planning for large scale training exercise

With the assistance of North Lincolnshire Markets, crews were able to access the St John's Market building in Scunthorpe town centre to simulate a gas leak with numerous 'casualties' in need of a quick and effective rescue from all floors of the former Debenhams store.

On arrival at the scene, Cew Managers from Brigg and Barton called for a further three engines to back them up and a BA crew were sent in to firstly isolate the gas. The layout of the space was analysed with SJM staff before more BA crews entered in pairs to check every floor section by section, checked in and out by the control board operator.

'Casualties' were successfully located and brought out to street level swiftly for medical assessment. The high number of 'casualties' meant that a 'major incident' was soon declared and a further two crews were brought in.

At its height, up to 30 firefighters and officers were involved in the 'sweep' through the building overseen by Safety Officers. Barton, Brigg, Crowle, Epworth, Kirton in Lindsey and Scunthorpe crews all attended for the valuable training with other crews left on station to provide balanced cover across North Lincs for regular 999 calls.

Scunthorpe Blue Watch Manager Tim Theaker was delighted with how the evening had gone:

"It has taken a long time to organise an exercise of this scale and thanks must go to the staff at North Lincolnshire Markets for allowing us to use the building and add a sense of realism to the exercise.

"In reality, if this incident were to happen for real, there would be other factors to consider, but what was key tonight was the crews getting familiar with the layout of the building itself and working as a single team.

"We held a hot debrief [pictured right] in the market to share lessons learned and any issues arising from the lengthy search of a complex building."

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