Cross border fire service exercise

December 10, 2012

NIFRS and Monaghan Fire Authority held a large scale Cross Border Emergency Training Exercise recently to test the operational response of both emergency services when responding to a multi vehicle road traffic collision with numerous casualties in the border area.

During the exercise a staged collision at Corrs Corner, County Monaghan involved a tractor, a trailer transporting hazardous material,  two lorries, six cars, a motorcycle and a tour bus.

Fire appliances from Keady, Armagh, Newry, Crossmaglen, Lisburn, Glengormley, Monaghan, Calstleblayney, Clones and Ballybay Fire Stations responded to the mock up incident which involved 120 Friefighters and 31 casualties.

The exercise also enabled other responding agencies including the An Garda Siochana, Monaghan County Council and the Civil Defence to test their own operational response to an incident of this scale.

Randy McComb, Group Commander, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said

“These types of training exercises with our colleagues in ROI are vital to enhancing our rescue role and capability in protecting our community with a particular focus on responding to incidents in the border areas.

“This exercise was extremely valuable and there are learning points for all of the agencies involved.  This will ultimately enhance interagency working between the emergency responders, both north and south, and is a vital lifeline to members of the public who may find themselves in an emergency situation on the roads in border areas.”

Dermot Brannigan, Acting Chief Fire Officer, Monaghan Fire Authority added:  “The collaborative approach taken during the preparation of this exercise allows for all involved to understand the resources available within our region and offered an opportunity to meet colleagues who face the same challenging conditions, daily, hence allowing for an exchange of skills and experiences.

“This joint exercise provided an opportunity to practice and test the robustness nature of our incident command systems.  The compatibility of these systems ensure the safety of all involved in an emergency situation and ensures an effective use of resources.

“By testing our operational responses capabilities and those of our neighbours in Northern Ireland we are able to provide a better emergency service to the public.”