West Yorkshire emergency services tested in live-action exercise

West Yorkshire emergency services joined forces to take part in a simulated training exercise in Castleford to test plans and ensure crews are prepared for any potential future incidents.

West Yorkshire emergency services convene outside Xscape Yorkshire for a multi-agency exercise

Specialist teams from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, West Yorkshire Police and Yorkshire Ambulance Service came together at Xscape Yorkshire for the training, which saw a live exercise take place simulating what would happen if a biological or other airborne hazard occurred in a busy public area.

The WYFRS Detection, Identification and Monitoring (DIM) team, who are equipped to deal with incidents involving toxic chemicals, fuels, nuclear waste, as well as biological, chemical, and radiological agents, used their Haz Mat (Hazardous Materials) expertise to respond.

Organising the exercise was Station Manager Ronan Bruce and Watch Manager Dan Terry from WYFRS. SM Bruce said: “The multi-agency training exercise is part of efforts to ensure that West Yorkshire's emergency services are prepared for every eventuality. We want to ensure the safety of the public and by training together in live scenarios, we continuously test and improve our multi-agency plans.

“All agencies are committed to being thoroughly prepared for any potential incidents in our region.”

The scenario saw first responders from each of the services respond to the incident and also involved control rooms and drone teams. Agencies detained suspects, managed the scene, protected the public and rescued the “casualties” – who were played by drama students from the Heart of Yorkshire, to add to the realism of the scenario.

WM Dan Terry said: “These exercises, conducted by West Yorkshire's emergency services and partner agencies, are crucial for preparing and responding to major incidents and emergencies in the region. We extend our thanks to Xscape in Castleford for providing their venue and supporting our training endeavours, as we strive to keep the people of West Yorkshire safe.”

A comprehensive debrief and evaluation after the exercise will capture lessons learned and enhance West Yorkshire's major incident plans. Video footage taken at the event will also be used for future training purposes.