Firefighters Search For "Survivors" in Factory Fire Exercise

Firefighters train to be ready for any emergency

“Survivors” of a major factory fire will be rescued from a smoke logged building as part of a major training exercise to test the reactions of Shropshire’s on call firefighters.

Four fire appliances with up to 35 firefighters from stations in Oswestry, Baschurch, Wem and Ellesmere, will converge on the 12,000 sq ft site of CV Rollers at Mile Oak industrial estate, Oswestry, at 7pm on November 11 in response to a 999 fire call.

They will don breathing apparatus to search the premises after a roll call reveals a number of people are missing and put out the serious fire.

The scenario has been devised by officers at Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service to test the skills of firefighters who will have to quickly assess on site hazards, access the building safely and rescue trapped or seriously injured victims as they would in a real incident.

Retained Support Officer Simon Griffiths, a Whitchurch firefighter for 37 years, said such training exercises were “vital” to continually test the skills of firefighters in readiness for “the real thing.”

"This exercise is designed to assess our competence in several areas including incident command, possible hazardous materials response, the rescue of several casualties, fire ground communications and breathing apparatus procedures.”

He praised the company owners’ for allowing their new premises to be filled with smoke to make it as realistic as possible.

Kevin Taylor, joint MD of CV Rollers, a firm his father started more than 50 years ago, said: “We have been involved in a similar training exercise before and are more than happy to help. You never know when you may need the fire service and it is good they can train in a proper building.”

CV Rollers, which engineers precision components for the transport and conveyor industry, has been established at Mile Oak Industrial Estate since 1992 and moved into its new building recently. They also engineer and supply the parts for emergency vehicle storage systems for all of the UK’s fire brigades – including the fire appliances due to turnout for the training session.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has 22 fire stations in mainly rural areas of the county run by on call  firefighters, who have other jobs, with four fire stations operated by wholetime firefighters. Men and women interested in joining the fire service should contact brigade HQ on 01743 260200 or visit


3rd November, 2015