Large scale multi-agency training event held in Fort William

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The exercise was hailed a great success and provided an excellent platform for partners to build closer working relationships

Multi Agency Event - Lochaber

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service staged a multi-agency exercise involving around 30 emergency service personnel at Fort William Fire Station recently.

This event involved fire service crews from Kinlochleven and Fort William, Scottish Ambulance Service, doctors and medics from both Aviemore and Inverness.

A road traffic collision specialist and ex-senior fire officer also took part and was able to provide technical feedback and knowledge to players after the event.

During the day participants took part in a practical demonstration. Two airbags were set off within a vehicle to highlight the danger they pose to casualties and responders if they have not deployed when emergency service crews arrive at the scene of a road traffic collision.

The main exercise involved a two car road traffic collision involving four trapped casualties. The mock collision was made even more realistic thanks to volunteers Laura Massie, Mairi MacMahon and Emma MacKay, who were 'made up' with life-like injuries by local make-up artist and NHS worker Peter Berrie.

Group Manager Pat McElhinney, the Lochaber District Officer from Scottish Fire and Rescue, who ran the event said: "With new ambulance and fire personnel having arrived in our area this type of exercise is pivotal in that crews are able to meet and train together on a regular basis.

"We are so reliant on each other at incidents. We live in a predominately rural area and we need to use our resources effectively and with speed, to ensure we give casualties the very best of care.

"We also need to understand each others' command systems and priorities at such incidents, so we can dovetail and work together quickly."

He added: "This exercise provided us with an opportunity to train all our staff, but also gave us a platform to network, share experience and to get to know each other. Familiar faces can create much better rapport and communication at an incident.

The event was organised by local paramedic team leader Andrew MacGillivray (Scottish Ambulance Service) and Watch Manager Christopher Findlay (SFRS).

GM McElhinney added: "I would like to thank them for their hard work in ensuring all partners and agencies attended and took part in this valuable exercise.

"We are also thankful for the attendance of NHS specialists. Their involvement and presence was of massive benefit to both fire and ambulance crews.”

At the end of the exercise all partners indicated they wanted to be involved in another event in the future, saying they enjoyed the challenges this exercise provided.