Local crew in fire exercise

Retained crews from Banchory were among firefighters from across the area due to take part in Grampian Fire and Rescue Service’s (GFRS) biggest multi-agency exercise ever staged in the North-east.

It was scheduled to take place in Aberdeen city centre between 6pm and midnight last night (Wednesday).

Exercise ‘Bon Accord’ was expected to see 12 fire engines, including a ladder platform, two support units and a command unit, take part. More than 80 people from the service were working with emergency service partners from Grampian Police, NHS Grampian and Scottish Ambulance Service in the exercise which was taking place in St Nicholas House.

As well as involving full-time fire crews from the city, the exercise involved retained crews from Banchory, Cullen, Kintore, Inverurie and Dyce. The service’s Major Incident Room was being be staffed by a range of command officers.

The exercise was planned to test how Grampian Fire and Rescue Service dealt with a major city centre incident, how its control room coped with the additional demands, and how its incident command protocols worked when put into practice.

This is the first time that such a large-scale exercise has taken place in the city and is one of the largest ‘live’ exercises to have taken place in Scotland. Volunteers from the Scottish Red Cross were even brought in to act as casualties to bring even more realism to the event.

Speaking before the exercise, Chief Fire Officer David Dalziel said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to put our planning for major incidents into practice. This exercise has been designed to be a real test of abilities at all levels of the organisation, from our senior command managers all the way to our firefighters on the ground.”

Area commander David Rout, head of operations for GFRS said planning for the exercise has involved a lot of work.