Moorland firefighting exercise

13 team members took part alongside multiple GMCFS resources, in a Major Moorland Firefighting exercise, organised by GMCFS, primarily to test their deployment systems and give their fire crews some area familiarisation. The overall detailed aims and objectives of the exercise (centred on Smithills Moor and Winter Hill) were to test moorland firefighting procedures, familiarise firefighters with the risks of moorland firefighting (i.e., the moorland environment), to familiarise firefighters with the vehicles and equipment in use, and familiarise firefighters with the Fire Service Incident Command systems. Our involvement was to test our role in providing standby rescue cover for this type of incident, working alongside GMCFS resources. (for many of the Firefighters present, it was their first exercise with an MRT, to others we have become a familiar resource). Organised by the Station Commander at Bolton North Fire Station, Peter Johnson, joint with Horwich Fire Station Commander, Brian Wiggans, the exercise was blessed with good weather, (and no “real” fires to spoil the exercise!)
Pump appliances from Bolton North, (including their L6P Pinzgaeur, which seems to get everywhere nowadays!), Bolton Central, Wigan, Farnworth, Horwich, Agecroft and Leigh all took part, alongside the ICU (Incident Command Unit “Coach”) from Agecroft. (A Control vehicle which had our Team Leader, Garry Rhodes, drooling over!) A scenerio for our part in the role play, was to carry out an evacuation of an injured firefighter, jointly with Fire crews present, who had suffered a suspected leg fracture.
Reality replaced exercise, when we were called away from the Fire exercise, to deal with an injured walker for real, nearby. (see Incident Report 70/2003, below for more details).
Overall, the “hot debrief” indicated a very successful exercise for both ourselves and GMCFS. (for our MRT readers, guess what the biggest problem was for the Fire Service? Yep, just like us, and the bain of every exercise ever organised, “communications.”). Big thanks from the team to the exercise organisers, GMCFS Station Commanders Peter Johnson and Brian Wiggans, for all their hard work in making the day happen.

Two BMRT Landrovers parked either side of the GMCFS L6P Pinzgaeur, on the moorland fire exercise.