Multi-agency flood response event near Dundee hailed a success

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Lessons learned on the day will be used to enhance Tayside Strategic Co-ordinating Group's emergency plans

Exercise Responder 2

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service successfully staged a multi-agency major incident exercise at Monikie Country Park, near Dundee on Saturday (26 October 2013).

The live play event, Exercise Responder, provided emergency services with an excellent training opportunity.

Like any exercise, lessons learned on the day will be discussed during the de-briefing process and be used to enhance emergency plans already formulated by Tayside Strategic Co-ordinating Group.

Around 10 agencies, including SFRS, Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, Tayside Mountain Rescue Team and Dundee Airport Fire Service, took part in the exercise which saw “players,” rescued or evacuated from flood or fast water affected scenarios including properties.

The event, which SFRS organised on behalf of Tayside Strategic Co-ordinating Group, was designed to test multi-agency command and control, communication, co-ordination and response to an incident of severe flooding.

As part of Tayside Strategic Co-ordinating Group’s responsibilities under the Civil Contingencies Act agencies are duty bound to carry out such exercises to ensure they are best positioned to warn, inform and protect the public, property, infrastructure and business during a real major incident.

Civil Contingencies Officer for SFRS North Service Delivery Area, Keith Dyer, said: “The exercise presented the incident commanders from SFRS, Police Scotland and Scottish Ambulance Service a number of challenges, from searching large area of open water to rescuing casualties stranded on roofs of submerged cars.

“This was only possible due to the support we received from volunteer agencies, who provided equipment and expertise.

“The exercise will go through a formal debriefing process and the lessons learned will be shared between the agencies.”

He added: “I would like to thanks all those who attended.”

Police Scotland Inspector, Katie Chisholm, said: "We know from past experience that severe weather and particularly flooding can cause significant damage and in extreme cases require a coordinated rescue.

"The exercise at Monikie provided the various authorities and volunteer groups, who provide valuable assistance, opportunity to put skills and assets to good use in a joint operation.

"While responders prepare for the winter season we would also like the public to think about what they can do to reduce risks and consequences.  Information and advice is available on the Ready Scotland website and another good way to get information is by downloading the Ready Scotland app."

Gary Hardacre, Head of Risk and Resilience, Scottish Ambulance Service, said: "The exercise was an excellent opportunity for our Special Operations Response Team to rehearse their Inland Water Operations skills.

"This means that they can now take care directly to the patient in a water rescue, where previously that would have to wait for the patient to be brought out to them."