Nottinghamshire’s Emergency Service’s tested their disaster response on Monday, with a train derailment exercise held in Sandiacre.
“Operation Rosedale” took place early on Monday morning at Toton Traction Maintenance Depot. It saw more than 100 firefighters, plus hazardous materials officers and specialist rescue teams take on the derailment of both a hazardous goods and passenger train. Included were a foam unit, Command Support Unit, an aerial ladder platform and 12 fire engines. Members of the DB Schenker
Rail UK Breakdown and Recovery teams, plus response teams from Network Rail, British Transport Police, Nottinghamshire Police, East Midlands Ambulance Service,
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Environment Agency also
“It isn’t often that we get the chance to test our procedures on such as large scale as this and we are extremely grateful to DB Schenker, both for facilitating the exercise and engaging with us so positively in our specialist rescue training programme” Richard Cropley, Exercise Director.
John Wilkinson, of the The National Chemical Emergency Centre, was present to provide expert analysis and advice to handling the “dangerous chemical spill” from the first carriage. The substance in question, Molten Phenol, is a toxic substance which is highly corrosive and therefore requires experts to ensure it is approached with proper precaution. It was examples such as this that demonstrate the attention to detail within these exercises, and how seriously they are taken.
To add another level of practice to the morning, CBJ News reporters were encouraged to play the role of “invading press” on the scene. It came as part of an initiative from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue, not only to help their officers learn and practice how they ought to manage media in such incidents, but also to give insight to student journalists about reporting on them. The following footage was taken on the scene:
Exercise director, Station Manager Richard Cropley said: “The exercise is the culmination of several months of training and planning between Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, DB Schenker and other agencies. It will test how the emergency services and other organisations co-ordinate their response to a major incident involving both human casualties and a potentially lethal chemical spillage.
“It isn’t often that we get the chance to test our procedures on such as large scale as this and we are extremely grateful to DB Schenker, both for facilitating the exercise and engaging with us so positively in our specialist rescue training programme. Naturally we hope we will never have to deal with an incident of this magnitude, but we will always take any opportunity we can to train and develop our rescue skills in a range of scenarios.”
A comprehensive report of the exercise is due for release within the next week.