Greater Manchester emergency crews take part in night time joint large scale terror attack training

The training is to prepare emergency services in the event of something similar to the Manchester Arena bombing of 2017

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Emergency services in Greater Manchester have finished a month of terror attack training. The training took place at night time and started in early June. 

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) Firearms Training Unit and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) have worked together to carry out the multi-agency exercises. The training is to prepare the emergency services to make sure they are ready to respond and help people in the event of terror attacks or other incidents which may involve large numbers of casualties. 

The weekly training began on June 8 and the last session took place on July 8. Each of the training exercises took place at the University of Bolton. The emergency services were tasked with responding to mock incidents depicting real life scenarios. 

Around 60 volunteers played the roles of casualties who suffered from various injuries which had been created by the University’s SFX team. This added to the realistic nature of the exercises.  

Superintendent John-Paul Ruffle, of GMP’s Specialist Operations branch, said: “It is of the highest importance that all emergency services are prepared for major incidents so we can respond in the best possible way. Exercises provide a vital opportunity for us to test elements of the response in an environment where there is no real risk or threat of harm and to identify and implement any learnings.

“In recent years, Greater Manchester Police and key partner agencies have implemented changes to improve planning, training, and testing to name just a few. All services take part in regular exercises and our activity at Bolton University is just one of many examples.”

GMFRS Area Manager Ben Levy, MTA Project Manager said: “We’ve worked really hard to ensure all our firefighters in Greater Manchester are trained, equipped and prepared to respond  and help people in the event of a terror attack or any incident involving a large number of casualties.

“We hope we never have to put this training to the test, but sadly the threat of these events is a reality that we have to be ready for. Cross-service training exercises like this are absolutely crucial in making sure we remain as prepared as possible and that the way all emergency services work together in these times of crisis is as effective as possible in protecting the public.”

Emergency services carry out terrorist attack drills (Photo: GMCA)Emergency services carry out terrorist attack drills (Photo: GMCA)
Emergency services carry out terrorist attack drills (Photo: GMCA)

Holli Foster, Second Year Paramedic Student, said: “Taking part in the event has helped me develop as a student paramedic in many ways. It has given me a broader and more in-depth understanding of multi-agency working, as well as seeing and experiencing it from the patient's perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed taking part.”