FIREFIGHTERS and ambulance teams battled to rescue seven casualties and stop a tanker leaking hazardous chemicals in a huge motorway pile-up on the M56 – as part of a successful simulation exercise.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service made the most of the motorway section’s closure between junctions 15 and 16 for resurfacing to stage the night-time challenge.
Firefighters from Ellesmere Port, Chester and Warrington were joined by the North West Ambulance Service’s hazardous area response teams so they could work together as they would in a real chemical emergency.
The five crews of firefighters, who had no idea of the scale of the task facing them before they arrived, were called to rescue the actors and service volunteers playing the part of casualties from the six cars in the ‘pile-up’.
Terry McDermott, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s head of service, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to provide our crews with a realistic training scenario that would help prepare them should something like this ever happen in real life.
“Our aim is to have crews trained to the highest possible standards to ensure they are able to safely and effectively deal with emergency incidents.
“This sort of mock exercise really helps us prepare for major incidents, which thankfully are a rare occurrence.
“I would like to thank everyone who helped make this exercise such a success, including the Highways Agency who gave us access to the section of the motorway, Norbert Dentressangle the company who provided the tanker and those volunteers who gave up their time to play the role of casualties.”