Moorland Fire Exercise

For the second year running, we were invited to a major moorland firefighting exercise by GMFRS, which is designed to test and practice their moorland firefighting response(s), within the West Pennine Moors. Our role (as it would be “for real”) was to provide Standby Rescue Cover for the fire crews deployed onto the moors, in case of any accidents or incidents arising.

A major GMFRS response, centred on the San Marino Restaurant, (the Wright’s Arms as was), involved Pump Appliances from Eccles, Salford, Farnworth, Bolton North, Bolton Central and Leigh Fire Stations, the L6P Pinzgauer from Bolton North, and the Incident Command Unit from Agecroft.

Joining the exercise were Pump Appliances from LFRS, Chorley and Darwen Fire Stations, including Darwen’s Landrover Personnel Carrier. Senior GMFRS Officers were the exercise organisers, controllers and observers, many of whom our Leaders have worked alongside on recent multi-agency incidents, or are familiar with from liaison meetings. (this undoubtedly contributed to the excellent command and control working relationships that helped with the success of this exercise.)

Also present were two members of Taipai City Urban Search and Rescue Team, from Taiwan, who were visiting and observing the exercise as guests of GMFRS. The exercise commenced with a briefing at Bolton North Fire Station at 10:15 hrs., then deployment for the Fire crews to six moorland fire sectors, with the initial deployment RVP, our teams holding point and the exercise Command and Control, being set up at the San Marino.

When all the crews had been deployed, we were tasked to an “exercise incident” involving a Firefighter who, for the purposes of the exercise, had sustained a fractured leg.

From our twenty members attending, (in our four team vehicles), a spot pick up party was despatched, joined up with a LFRS Chorley crew and a GMFRS Salford crew, and carried out casualty care and a stretcher evacuation exercise of the “injured” firefighter.

By early afternoon the exercise concluded, having successfully fulfilled all its aims, and proved the close integration and working partnerships between GMFRS, LFRS and Bolton MRT.