Emergency services put working procedures to the test in Whitemoor Prison exercise

PUBLISHED: 18:35 07 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:14 02 June 2010

Fire service training exercise at Whitemoor Prison

Fire service training exercise at Whitemoor Prison

ALL three emergency services put working procedures to the test when they carried out a training exercise at Whitemoor Prison. Last Thursday s exercise looked to ensure they can work together at the maximum security prison in March, without risking a brea

Fire service training exercise at Whitemoor Prison

ALL three emergency services put working procedures to the test when they carried out a training exercise at Whitemoor Prison.

Last Thursday's exercise looked to ensure they can work together at the maximum security prison in March, without risking a breach of security.

The scenario involved a fire in the maximum-security prison in March. A fire alarm had been activated and upon further investigation it became clear that the fire was in the workshop area.

A total of 10 staff had failed to report to the designated muster area and were believed to be still inside the workshop.

A 999 call was made by a member of the prison service staff and firefighters, the police armed response unit and St John Ambulance - working on behalf of the East Anglian Air Ambulance - were alerted and made their way to the 'emergency'.

Harry Edge, station manager at Wisbech Fire Station, who organised the exercise with the prison service, said: "Whitemoor Prison is a category 'A' prison site and therefore constitutes a high risk status.

"Staff take numerous steps to minimise the risk of a large-scale fire from occurring at the site, however, it is impossible for the risk to be fully eradicated.

"The purpose of the exercise was to make sure that all three emergency services are completely comfortable with working at the site under controlled but secure conditions."

Mr Edge added: "The exercise went very well. All casualties were released quickly and no security risks were identified. We did identify a couple of learning points, but these were very minor.


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