All hands to the pump for NorthLink Ferries emergency exercise

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Crews from Aberdeen worked closely with NorthLink Ferries and Aberdeen Harbour Board on the recent exercise


Scottish Fire and Rescue Service firefighters took part in a multi-pump exercise with NorthLink Ferries and Aberdeen Harbour Board recently.

The exercise was the second training event to take place in Aberdeen city and is part of a series of planned events organised following a recent Watch Manager’s seminar.

The off-station exercise was designed to test operational procedures and incident command for a marine incident and took place on board a NorthLink Ferries vessel, docked at Aberdeen Harbour.

The incident involved a number of appliances from North Anderson Drive, Central, Altens and Dyce and two officers were also in attendance, GM Ally Birkett and Station Manager Gordon Riddel.

The incident involved smoke logging in the area around the car deck, and in the passenger cabins above and firefighters worked closely with the ferry operators to locate casualties and remove them to safety.

Fire and rescue service personnel worked closely with the crew of the NorthLink Ferries vessel and Aberdeen Harbour Board during the exercise, which was described by Group Manager Ally Birkett as “very worthwhile exercise.”

He added: “The exercise gave us an opportunity to test our operational procedures and capability. Due to heavy work commitments we don’t always have many opportunities to train together on such a scale so this opportunity was extremely welcome.

“Everyone worked together very well on the day and had this been a real incident it would have been dealt with very effectively.

“We worked closely with the ferry operator and Aberdeen Harbour and we hope everyone gained valuable experience from the exercise.”

Stuart Garrett, managing director of NorthLink Ferries said: "This type of training is incredibly valuable and ensures that we can respond instinctively should a real emergency occur. The exercise was designed to test peoples' abilities under pressure and give our responders the chance to work with external bodies as they would in a live incident.”