Over 300 people have been involved in an Emergency Services training exercise today (Sunday, 9 June) at Hull College, to test the Police, Fire and Ambulance response and preparedness should a major incident take place.
Humberside Police, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and Yorkshire Ambulance Service have been working alongside hosts Hull College for months in the planning of the training exercise, which was agreed to be planned around a marauding terrorist attack (MTA).
Chief Inspector Mark Bishop, coordinating for the police said: “First of all, I would like to reassure our communities that there is no new or increased threat to the Humberside Force area and there is no significance behind the decision to hold the training in Hull.
“Whilst the UK threat level remains at severe, meaning an attack is highly likely, it is essential we take practical, precautionary measures wherever possible to enhance the security and effectiveness of our services in dealing with this type of incident, which sadly as we have seen in recent years, have occurred in our country.
“The emergency services who cover the Humberside area are committed to providing the best possible protection to its communities and routine, pre-planned exercises are a vital part of reviewing our contingency plans and training our officers and staff.
“This type of exercise provides an invaluable opportunity for us to develop and strengthen our combined response in the event of a major incident occurring in our region.”
Hull College played a major part in the planning, providing the College as the location for the exercise to take place and offering support and assistance throughout.
Staff and students from the college also volunteered to take part in the exercise as members of the public and victims of the “attack”, as well as Police volunteers and cadets, to make the exercise feel like a real life situation to the officers and staff taking part.
Ch Insp Bishop continued: “My thanks to all who were involved in the training exercise which has been a great success and has provided a excellent opportunity for us to test our emergency service response, with the overall aim of protecting the public and keeping everyone safe.”
Michelle Swithenbank, Chief Executive Officer and principal of Hull College Group said: “As part of Hull College Group’s commitment to support the local community, we’ve assisted Humberside Police, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and Yorkshire Ambulance Service with the training exercise to ensure it meets operational needs.
“There has been no disruption to students, with the exercise taking place outside of college opening times. Both students and staff have volunteered and given-up their time to help make the training exercise truly effective and beneficial to the emergency services."
Liam Plunkett, Group Manager for Humberside Fire & Rescue Service said: “It’s critical that emergency services and partner agencies run exercises as part of the Local Resilience Forum.
“They provide important training for staff, and help to improve ways of working and maintain our relationships with our partners.
“These training exercises form part of our preparations and training in keeping people who live, work and visit the Humberside area safe.”
Nick Smith, Executive Director of Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service said: “Exercises like this are made possible by strong partnership working between public agencies and are an excellent opportunity to test our major incident procedures and ensure public safety in the event of a real emergency.
"Multi-agency exercises also offer us a real opportunity to work together with our emergency service colleagues to reassure us that the things we have practised separately will work when we’re operating side-by-side and ultimately benefits the public we serve.”