Shropshire firefighters are ready for any emergency and in Market Drayton they have been fine tuning their skills to deal with a chemical spillage.
The on call fire crew arrived at their fire station for their weekly drill night to be called to action to cope with an exercise involving the outbreak of an unknown chemical in a building where all but one of the occupants had escaped.
“We make the training as realistic as possible so that the crew has to go through the correct procedures to deal with it,” said development crew manager Sally Eynon, who organised the practice session.
“Firefighters were told that the storeman was reported missing from a chemical store where there had been a serious spillage. They had to wear the protective chemical suits, enter the building, rescue the missing person and deal with the spillage of an unknown chemical.
“Once the crew had the code off the chemical container they were able to use the appliance mounted mobile data terminal to retrieve vital chemical data to know what personal protection is required and how the chemical will react with water or fire.”
The Market Drayton crew also set up a decontamination area and followed correct disrobe and decontamination procedures essential in an incident involving hazardous materials.
“Firefighters arrive at an emergency often not knowing what they will have to face. So this training is important to make them think about how they will deal with an individual incident, whatever it may be,” added Sally.
Shropshire fire crews train weekly from 23 county fire stations to practice a range of skills to rescue people trapped in vehicles after traffic collisions or from rivers and water courses and to answer any emergency. They also hone their skills in line safety, using ladders at heights and animal rescues as part of a long skill set which keeps Shropshire people safe.