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Fire crews carry out major rail incident training exercise

South Yorkshire’s fire crews have taken part in a dramatic steam train themed training exercise to test their response to an incident at Heritage railway.

Exercise Thomas was simulated to test the work that the Elsecar Heritage Railway train guard, rail incident officer and other crew members would carry out in the event of a major incident. It specifically focused on the station’s procedures for contacting the emergency services and for dealing with an incident prior to and during the arrival of the fire service.

The exercise involved a car that had crossed the railway line at Elsecar station and had been struck by a moving train.

Two heavy rescue pumps from Tankersley and Adwick stations were involved in the exercise. Crews from Tankersley white watch and Adwick red watch worked together to remove a number of casualties from the train, including a 27 stone training dummy to simulate a bariatric rescue. Personnel from Cudworth station red watch also performed rescues from the car and assisted with the hour long scenario.

A number of trainee forward liaison officers from Barnsley District Council attended the exercise and have requested to be involved in other similar training exercises.

Andrew Littlewood, Trustee at Heritage Railway said: “We are always happy to work in conjunction with our emergency services. We trust that South Yorkshire Fire Service benefitted from the experience.”

Delroy Galloway, station manager at Tankersley fire station, said: “The exercise was a huge success and allowed all those who participated to further understand their roles and responsibilities in the event of a major incident.

“Exercise Thomas formed part of an ongoing aim to continually improve major emergency response procedures and i would like to thank everyone who took part.”

Elsecar Heritage Railway runs steam hauled trains and diesel locomotives for members of the public on a regular basis.

This content was last updated on August 21st, 2017