A dramatic rescue from a stricken boat on fire in the middle of the River Trent was all in a day’s work for rescue services yesterday, as they took part in a specialist training.
Today onlookers may have seen Nottinghamshire Police take part in drill to rescue the boat and their crew, in a mission which was just a stone’s throw away from Newark Castle.
This was part of training scheme run by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.
It is commonplace for emergency services to use such real life scenarios to help prepare all organisations for a time when such a disaster might take place.
Both services used the exercise today to work on their joint interoperability procedures and protocols in order to deal with the flaming boat as it drifted down the Trent – all with the objective of saving the lives of the crew and protecting public safety.
The local police team, led by Sgt Matthew Ward, provided real-life public safety support whilst the training took place.
Officers worked with fire colleagues to provide cordoned areas; temporary closure of footpaths and provided a valuable communications point to inform and reassure the public as the incident progressed.
Newark Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Charlotte Allardice said: “Thankfully such scenarios in real life like the one today are extremely rare, but we need to be prepared for any eventuality as emergency services.
“That is why we are grateful to work with our colleagues in the fire service to allow our officers the experience of being involved in realistic training exercises like this in preparation for major incidents should they happen within Nottinghamshire.
“It is hugely important we run these exercises so that the public can feel confident in the way police and fire work together to save lives and keep the public safe at times when such incidents are thrust upon us.”
Firefighters from Newark, Southwell and Collingham fire station took part in the exercise today at Newark Castle.
Exercise Castle, as it was named, saw the crews mobilised to a report of smoke coming off a boat, with people seen on the boat and in the water.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service also provided a crew with their boat for the reality situation.
District manager Leigh Holmes said: “Exercises like this one help operational personnel prepare for any real incidents that may come in.
“As well as this exercise helping us develop our cross-border working, it helped our joint fire control room to manage radio traffic from a water rescue incident.
“Everyone who took part in today’s exercise demonstrated great teamwork and showed that we are ready and competent for any future incidents.
“We would like to thank Nottinghamshire Police for their full support in today’s training. We regularly work with our partners in training exercises and real emergency incidents, and hopefully our communities within Nottinghamshire have trust in us to continue to keep them safe.
“We would also like to thank the boat owners for allowing us to make this exercise as real as possible.
“Throughout the summer we are urging people to stay safe around water. If you see anyone in danger in water, please do not go in after them. Call 999 and encourage the casualty to swim.”
Today’s collaboration between the two services is the latest in a number of similar exercises, which last month saw them working together on a potential fatal fire exercise at Trent Bridge cricket ground.
This comes just months before the two organisations move in together in the bespoke joint force headquarters currently under construction at Sherwood Lodge.