When we were approached by Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service to stage a major industrial incident and fire training exercise we gave them a resounding yes and our full support.
The local Fire Officer thought that an incident with casualties would enable a large range of skills and equipment to be tested and what better than a real working commercial environment. For the depot management team at Goff Petroleum the exercise also meant that our robust safety systems and controls, along with the actions of our staff could be assessed and analysed.
The scenario was that two welders were making repairs high up on a tank, which had not been properly degassed and the heat and flames used had caused an explosion flinging them against walkways and causing a fire. The casualties, one dummy, and one local fire cadet, suffered injuries as a result, and needed to be assessed and recovered to safety.
The exercise offered a number of potential scenarios for a wide range of equipment, and the Norfolk Fire and Rescue service deployed different equipment and vehicles to cope and deal with the potential hazards, which included fire, personal injury, recovery, and fire suppression. The crews were drawn from different stations across the county, including Hethersett, Hingham, North Elmham, and Wymondham so that the full benefit of the integrated approach could be gained, without reducing coverage for any real incidents that morning.
Although only an exercise the teams turned up with all blue lights flashing and sirens wailing, much to the excitement of the children of our staff who had been invited to watch. At the end of the exercise two people had been saved and the fire safely extinguished, and fifteen happy children had been given a guided tour of a real fire engine and the rescue equipment onboard.
Will Goff said
“ We were delighted to provide a real environment for an industrial accident exercise. It made the whole thing very real, and showed me and my team at Goff Heating Oil what a great job our Fire Service do. The only thing missing was the fire, thank goodness! We are all very impressed by how prepared and skilled the firefighters were for any incident, as was my son by the shiny fire engine they sat him in afterwards".
Keith Powney, HSE manager for Goff Petroleum also commented:
"Safety in our industry is very important, and seeing Norfolk Fire and Resue Service here for an exercise again, and working with them to test the training and equipment is a privilage. By facilitating, and participating in a training exercise like this, you truly get an idea of what goes into keeping Norfolk safe".
A big thank you to www.norfolkfireservice.gov.uk