Hampshire’s emergency services train in terrorist and fire scenario

More than 100 people from the emergency services in Hampshire have taken part in a large-scale multi-agency exercise that involved a simulated terrorist attack.

The scenario included a fire in a block of flats and an attack in a restaurant with large numbers of people being seriously injured. Exercise Titanium was held at Prince Philip Barracks, in Bordon, which is one of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s unique training facilities. The annual fire and rescue service exercise tested all aspects of the response and teams from South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) and Hampshire Constabulary also took part. The scenario was based on a group of terrorists storming a block of flats and attacking the occupants with knives then setting the building on fire. The terrorists subsequently moved onto a nearby restaurant where they attacked approximately 50 people.

Station Manager Jim Clarke, who spent more than three months putting together the exercise, said, “The exercise went very well and has been extremely challenging for all of those involved, as it was designed to be. I have been impressed with the hard work and commitment shown by everyone taking part.

“The chance to practice large-scale incidents like this is invaluable to the emergency services and ultimately means we will all be better prepared if we ever have to do it for real. Exercises like this are good opportunities to see if there are ways in which we can improve on the excellent service we already provide and to improve working with our partners.

“To make the exercise as realistic, immersive and useful as possible we were able to use ‘real fire’, which is the benefit of Prince Philip Barracks as a training site and we also involved the Casualty Union who provided ‘live casualties’ with very realistic injuries.”

The exercise gave crews the chance to use new equipment, such as the ultra-high pressure lance.

Observers and members of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority were on site. HFRA Chairman Chris Carter said, “Watching how the crews performed under deliberately challenging conditions makes you appreciate the quality and dedication of Hampshire firefighters. These exercises are extremely important in ensuring the service is prepared for anything and making the public assured that we are always working to make them even safer.”