Channel Tunnel Visit.
In June 2017 Company members were treated to a unique visit organised by Liveryman Mark Rist, Area Manager, Kent Fire & Rescue Service.
After assembling at Rochester Fire Station we were taken by brigade transport to the KFRS Channel Tunnel fire station, where Area Manager Martin Skeet gave us a very informative presentation on the organisation of fire and rescue services in the tunnel, the processes for liaison with his French colleagues and a description of major incidents that have occurred in the tunnel. This information was supplemented by some fascinating insights from three of our own members on the visit who had been involved in the original design and emergency response for the tunnel.
After the talk we toured the fire station with Station Manager David Clipstone, before we boarded one of the Service Tunnel Transportation System vehicles. After passing through the air lock we entered the Service Tunnel and drove a mile or so into the tunnel to view one of the cross-passage doors, used to evacuate passengers from the running tunnels.
Following this, we were able to view the Rail Control Centre and the Incident Control Centre, where we gained an insight into the management of the trains through the tunnels and how emergency responses are co-ordinated by the various services in the event of an incident. As a frequent user of the tunnel I, for one, left more confident of my safety as I make the crossing.
The final part of our visit was to the Road Safety Experience Centre on the new Rochester Fire Station site. This is a unique centre within the UK, run by KFRS in collaboration with Kent Police and Highways England (http://www.kent.fire-uk.org/your-safety/road-safety/road-safety-experience/.)
The Centre offers young people a number of interactive experiences and scenarios designed to make them more aware of hazards on the road and to improve their skills on the road, whether as a driver or other road user. We saw an impressive presentation in the purpose built lecture facility, with a graphic set-up of a road traffic collision and the response by the emergency services. We were also able to visit the full-time crewed fire station at Rochester, which shares facilities with the ambulance service.
Our sincere thanks to Mark for arranging such an interesting and enjoyable day.
PR & Marketing
Worshipful Company of Firefighters.