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Agency response is tested over the region
EMERGENCY services from across Swindon and Wiltshire responded to a plane crash over a residential area in the county yesterday.
Residents should not be alarmed, however, as it was a training exercise designed to test the ability of services faced with a major crisis.
Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, Wiltshire Council, Swindon Council, South West Ambulance Service, NHS England Area Team, Public Health England, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and Environment Agency were involved.
Operation Red Kite is being held over two days. Yesterday, the focus was on the initial response while today will focus on recovery.
Emergency planners, who form the Local Resilience Forum, have worked together for over a year designing the exercise which involves senior decision makers in Wiltshire.
It is a command post exercise, meaning there will be no re-enactments. This is designed to test the ability of agencies to work together in the face of evolving catastrophes.
Paul Williams, Local Resilience Forum Manager for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “Exercise Red Kite will bring together some of the most senior decision makers to work together, as they would if a major incident occurred in Wiltshire.
“Although it is highly unlikely a major incident of this kind would happen in Wiltshire, it is important that we are able to test plans as part of mitigating the risks we do have.”
The exercise is designed to simulate a major incident, where one agency or more would be severely impacted or involving a large number of fatalities, casualties or major disruption to normal services.
As the day goes on they will be given information which they will have to respond to.
Paul said: “This will enable us to put emergency plans into action and for agencies to respond in a coordinated way.
“We will subsequently debrief the two days and review how we all responded. Any learning will be incorporated into plans to ensure they are up to date and fit for purpose.”
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