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Emergency Services train for "the worst"

Emergency Services train for

Wednesday 08 May 2019

Emergency Services train for "the worst"


All three emergency services have taken part in a joint training exercise simulating a terrorist attack at Guernsey Airport.

Guernsey Police, the Fire and Rescue Service and St John Ambulance all responded to staged 999 calls about a man stabbing people in the airport terminal after deliberately colliding with members of the public in a car.

The practice exercise had been in planning for nearly a year and was designed to test the services' response.

Armed police swiftly arrived on the scene with orders to "locate and confront" the terrorist so first responders could enter safely and treat the casualties.

"This methodology of attack has, sadly, become increasingly common so it is vital that Guernsey does not become complacent and ensures its response plans are current and well-rehearsed," said Tactical Firearms Commander Chief Inspector Operations J-P Le Breton.

emergency services training airport

 Pictured: A number of 'casualties' had to be treated by first responders.

"While we are lucky to live in a safe and secure environment this type of attach could occur anywhere and anytime without any prior warning. Such a situation would be a dynamic, fluid event and although an exercise cannot fully replicate what a real-life scenario would be like, we tried to keep this as real and proportionate as possible."

A total of eight St John Emergency Ambulance staff and 14 volunteers were on the scene, with two off-site officers directing the response.

Chief Ambulance Officer Mark Mapp said: "It is important for staff from the St John Emergency Ambulance Service to train alongside volunteers from the Ambulance Reserve and our colleagues from the other blue light services.

During the exercise, the ambulance crews were faced with multiple casualties with serious wounds which were designed to test how we would cope in a major incident.

Exercises like this are valuable in establishing how well the principles of joint-working actually play out in reality and what lessons can be learnt for the future. The value of training scenarios like this is not just to practice the things we are good at, but also collectively across the blue light services consider what we could improve and do differently next time.”

emergency services training airport

Pictured: All three emergency services worked together on the exercise.

Guernsey Airport was used outside of normal opening hours and has also used the exercise to assess its response and security.

"Obviously this is a scenario we hope never to face," added Chief Fire Officer Jon Le Page. "But, training for it means, should the worst happen, we are drilled and prepared in how to best respond alongside the other emergency services and we know exactly what our role is in order to carry out the rescue operations needs to save as many lives as possible."

A thorough review of the exercise will now take place and any lessons learnt will be incorporated into a plan for the emergency services.

Pictured top: Armed police were called out to the staged incident.

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