Employees at Cargill’s European poultry business in Hereford participated in a major training exercise alongside Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, the Environment Agency and Herefordshire Emergency planning involving a simulated explosion and severe fire. The training exercise aimed to test and evaluate the response of the services involved and ultimately improve preparedness for an incident such as this.
Eight fire engines from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and over 60 staff were at the scene alongside onsite employees, and representatives from the Environment Agency and Herefordshire Emergency Planning.
The exercise kicked off at 8:30am and spanned over the course of the morning. Fire crews were tasked with dealing with the simulated fire and explosion in a roof space and production area as well as locating missing persons. Crews were faced with some very realistic injuries as volunteers from Cargill played the part of casualties. Working with onsite first aiders, the firefighters tended to their injuries whilst the Environment Agency liaised with Fire Service and onsite engineers to provide expert advice.
Group Commander Richie Jordan, who coordinated the exercise, said: “Training exercises such as these are invaluable and help our firefighters prepare for any emergency situation that they may face.”
He added: “Furthermore, working with other agencies also allows us to collectively test our joint emergency response so that we can improve multi-agency liaison and incident management, which then allows us to respond in the best way possible. I’d like to thank Cargill for their assistance, cooperation and for providing us with this unique training opportunity.”
Mary Thompson, Managing Director, Cargill Meats Europe said: “Safety is critical to our business and it was great for our employees to get involved with their community, the Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and other critical community organizations. It is so important to be able to practice emergency procedures and as a large business in the community, we are wanted to give our local agencies the opportunity to practice in a safe but realistic way.”
For more information, go to www.hwfire.org.uk