Bedford river becomes emergency services’ training ground

Emergency services train on the River Great Ouse.
Emergency services train on the River Great Ouse.

Emergency services for Bedford came together to complete a multi-agency training session on the River Great Ouse.

Teams from Beds Fire and Rescue, East of England Ambulance, local police search and rescue, and Bedford Borough Council took part in the exercise at Castle Mill Lock.

Emergency services train on the River Great Ouse.

Emergency services train on the River Great Ouse.

The purpose of the exercise was to test all services’ ability to respond and resolve a water related incident whilst working with each other.

A scenario of an explosion on board the John Bunyan community boat while on a day trip was presented to the teams.

The boat had lost all power and had taken on some water and was unable to move, with a large number of casualties that needed assistance.

Crew commander James West, from Bedford Red Watch, said: “Exercise Icy Depths gave emergency services and partner agencies the opportunity to robustly test their respective safe systems of work at water related incidents.

Emergency services train on the River Great Ouse.

Emergency services train on the River Great Ouse.

“When working together at an incident it is crucial we all have a joint understanding of risk, and shared situational awareness to bring a safe conclusion to the incident and ultimately work better together to save lives and reduce harm.”

Sergeant Mike Wood, from the Beds, Cambs and Herts’ operational planning and support unit said: “It was good to see so many emergency services working together.

“It is incredibly important we use such scenarios to test our capabilities.”