Emergency training in England – level 3
Injured and trapped bodies in and amongst rubble, this is a scene after a building collapsed on Waterloo Station. It is what emergency services faced today in what looks like a major incident. But this is just a drill and it’s Europe’s largest ever.
Waterloo Station’s been partially recreated and then crushed at a disused power station in Kent and emergency services are using this to practice what they would do in the event of a real major incident.
It’s taken more than a year of planning, with seven tube carriages and hundreds of emergency service staff. There’s also 1,000 actors, many of them with fake wounds, providing real scenarios for the responders to deal with.
The drill involves fire-fighters, police and paramedics along with more than 70 other agencies, including local councils, utility companies and specialists search and rescue teams and will last four days. There’s also an on-site mortuary with disaster victim identification teams from all UK police regions working with other forensic specialists.
The scale of this drill gives the teams an opportunity to practise skills and functions they rarely get to use and hope they won’t have to.
Difficult words: trapped (unable to move), rubble (ruins), drill (a training), partially (partly), disused (no longer in use), scenario (a situation that could happen), paramedic (a person who gives emergency medical care), mortuary (a place where dead bodies are kept), scale (the size).
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