Emergency services exercise at Papworth Hospital

Fire crews tested their response with other emergency services at Papworth Hospital on Tuesday 12th September evening.

Firefighters and officers from Papworth, Gamlingay and St Ives were called to a practice scenario involving an explosion on the site, which also required police and ambulance support. The hospital’s Crisis Management Team was also set up and put to the test.

Watch Commander Martin Ward said: “This exercise allowed us to test our response procedures while working with our partner agencies in a realistic setting. We were also able to use live casualties with simulated injuries, which allowed the crews the opportunity to rescue and provide first aid, while working with ambulance staff on the aftercare.

“We were helped enormously by Vicky Halliday, one of the critical care nurses at the hospital, for getting together a team of casualties and applying the injury make up.”

The scenario also tested the hospital staff's response plans, including setting up a critical incident management team with representatives from the hospital’s clinical, operations and communications teams.

Eilish Midlane, Chief Operating Officer at Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Like all hospitals, Papworth must be prepared to deal with a huge range of critical incidents that could occur without warning on the hospital site. This training exercise was an excellent opportunity to put our critical incident plan to the test, train new members of staff and identify ways we can be even better prepared. We would like to thank the local emergency services for helping us to organise such a valuable event.”

Watch Commander Ward added: “Operationally the scenario went very well and provided a good test for our crews, other emergency services and the hospital staff. It did highlight a few areas for future consideration, such as logistics of having multiple vehicles in the vicinity and maintaining access. We will be working closely with the hospital staff to investigate how we can improve from what we’ve learned.”