Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Exercise simulates major incident at a police station

There was high drama and special effects as a smoke filled former police station provided the backdrop for an exercise in Brightlingsea on Wednesday October 21.

Exercise Bill simulated a major incident in a police station with officers and prisoners missing in a pall of smoke which completely filled the building. The exercise pushed realism to new heights with a special effects company providing huge smoke machines which were able to completely fill the building and lighting rigs to simulate a blaze.

Crews from Brightlingsea, West Mersea, Tollesbury and Tiptree Fire Stations donned breathing apparatus and carried out a search of the building to find casualties trapped in the fire before tackling the blaze itself.

Leading Firefighter Dave Bond, Brightlingsea Fire Station, organised the exercise bringing special effects company MRL Productions to create the most realistic environment possible.

He said: “The exercise went really well and everyone taking part said they learned a lot and found it very useful. The smoke completely filled the building and you couldn’t see more than a few inches in front of your face so that added to the realism of the exercise.

“For the exercise crews were called to a major incident in the Police Station with casualties trapped inside. Firefighters in breathing apparatus searched the building to rescue casualties and then dealt with fire.

“As well as the smoke the special effects company used lights to simulate fires in rooms which crews dealt with.

“The building used to be the town’s Police Station but has recently been sold the Brightlingsea Museum who let us use it for the exercise before they started refurbishment. It was a great opportunity and I would like to thank the museum for letting us use their building and MRL Productions for providing the smoke machines and lighting which made the exercise so realistic.”

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