VIDEO AND PICTURE GALLERY: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, along with English Heritage, simulated a fire at Osborne House as part of a major training exercise on Sunday, which has been hailed a success.
Fire crews from both services worked closely with colleagues at Hampshire Constabulary and English Heritage to simulate and jointly resolve a fire incident which, in the scenario, started in the basement at Osborne House.
Red Funnel Ferries supported the exercise by transporting emergency vehicles across to the island.
The simulated incident gave fire crews and police an opportunity to test resilience and also gave staff at English Heritage an opportunity to practice salvage operations. It was also simulated how fire crews would use an ultra high pressure lance – COBRA – as part of firefighting operations to protect salvage crews.
“This was the first time we have arranged a major exercise on the island and deployed crews from Hampshire to assist the crews on the island.
“All objectives of the training exercise were safely achieved with valuable learning points identified by all agencies taking part. I am very grateful to all those who participated in such a worthwhile exercise”.
Rob Flower, General Manager, Osborne added:
“Osborne is a precious part of our national heritage, both the building and the objects within it are highly significant and we take their care and conservation extremely seriously. It is great to know that the Isle of Wight and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services and Hampshire Constabulary share that commitment and we have been impressed by the professionalism and proactivity of all agencies involved in developing and implementing this exercise”.
Councillor Phil Jordan, Executive Member for Public Health, Public Protection and PFI, said:
“I am pleased to hear that the large-scale exercise at Osborne was executed so effectively. I’m sure it will reassure colleagues at English Heritage and our local residents, that we are so well equipped to manage an incident that could pose a threat to a major piece of the Island’s heritage. It is also testament to our colleagues in the fire and rescue service, that their plans and training have been tested effectively should there ever be the need to put such plans into real practice; which let’s hope they never have to do”.