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Blue light partners exercise their skills

Bedfordshire’s emergency services joined forces to respond to a simulated terrorist attack this week.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) led the exercise at Queensbury Academy, Dunstable, on Tuesday (May 28), working alongside Bedfordshire Police and East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST).

The exercise tested the blue light services on their joint response to a simulation of a terrorist attack within a school environment. The Young Police and Fire Cadets were invited and briefed to help with the exercise, role playing as students to add a realistic element.

Group Commander Ade Yule, BFRS  lead for the exercise, said: “We hope we never have to work in a real situation such as this, but holding such an effective and realistic multi-agency exercise is of huge benefit to us and our partners. It’s another example of the blue light services planning and training together to ensure the best operational response is matched to the incident.

“Whilst the methodology of a marauding terrorist attack has changed in recent years, it is pleasing to see that the blue light response has evolved to take into account different methods of attack.”

All the services involved would like to thank Queensbury Academy for allowing the use of the school. It is thanks to generous offers from the community like this that enable the blue light services to keep skills current, tested in realistic environments to ultimately provide the most effective response and delivery for the community.

Sergeant Mark Cunnington, Bedfordshire Police Operational Planning Unit, said: “Our officers were able to practice casualty evacuation and treatment, ranging from walking wounded to more serious cases, in the “warm zone” of the simulation.

“This was a good opportunity to challenge our ability to work and co-ordinate the provision of assistance to our fire and ambulance colleagues under rigorous test conditions.”

Steven Moore, EEAST Specialist Operations, added: “Delivering care to those affected by such an incident quickly and effectively is vital in saving the lives of as many victims as possible following such an attack. Training such as this helps us develop our skills for working in partnership with police and fire to ensure the greatest number of lives can be saved.”