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Major exercise simulates terror incident

A major exercise simulated a terrorist attack involving a crashed car and a blaze in a high rise accommodation in Basildon.

More than 25 firefighters from Basildon, Grays, Orsett and Chelmsford took part in ‘Exercise Foxtrot’ at Basildon Hospital on Saturday, April 30.

Crews faced a scenario where terrorists had crashed a vehicle into a multi-storey student accommodation building, setting alight properties.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus had to extinguish the fire using hose reel jets and evacuate the building while the suspects hid inside with a bomb.

The exercise, which also included cutting equipment, high rise bags, entry boards and thermal imaging cameras, was organised by Station Officer David Walpole and Sub Officer Dan Kirk.

Assistant Divisional Officer Mark Turnball, who was the incident commander, said: “The exercise was a great success and valuable lessons were learnt.

“The scenario was complicated and really tested our firefighters who showed great enthusiasm and really worked hard to get as much out of it as they could.

“This is the second year we have completed an exercise at this location and I gave us a good opportunity to build on our strong relationship with the hospital’s Health and Safety and Fire Safety teams.

“I would like to thank both Station Officer David Walpole and Sub Officer Dan Kirk who put a lot of time and effort into helping organise the exercise. I would also like to thank Basildon Hospital for allowing us to use their site.”

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