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Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service to lead on national exercise: Triton 2

Thetford Forest July 2015Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service is hosting a national level high volume pump (HVP) exercise in Thetford forest on the Norfolk/Suffolk borders from 13 to 16 July (Wednesday to Saturday). Other fire services including teams from Kent, Surrey, Essex, Hampshire, Nottinghamshire and Durham and Darlington will also be attending the four day exercise known as Triton 2.

The exercise will host a total of five high volume pump teams from across the country with a total of 13 kilometres of hose expected to be laid across challenging terrain, co-ordinated from a strategic holding area (SHA) at the Forestry Commission offices at Santon Downham.

Funded and underwritten by the Chief Fire Officers Association National Resilience Assurance Team (NRAT) through grant funding from central government, the purpose and benefits of the exercise are manifold:

  • Assurance of the national co-ordination mechanisms for deploying a large number of national HVP units into Norfolk & Manchester.
  • The two simultaneous exercises facilitate the discharge of targets on behalf of the national HVP capability.
  • The exercise will promote inter agency working between Category 1, Category 2 and voluntary sector emergency responding agencies.
  • Lessons learned will be utilised to help to further inform the ongoing development of the national HVP capability.

The Norfolk exercise deals with one of three concurrent events, the other two being held in the Manchester area, designed to test the national co-ordination of deployment of assets from across the UK to three simultaneous events as a result of lessons learnt from previous national flood events across the country.

The Norfolk exercise will be supported by:

  • Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service
  • The Chief Fire Officers Association National Resilience Assurance Team
  • Norfolk Constabulary
  • The Ministry of Defence
  • The Forestry Commission
  • The Environment Agency
  • Norfolk & Suffolk Lowland Search & Rescue (NORLSAR)
  • Norfolk 4*4 Response
  • Norfolk Civil Protection Volunteers
  • Elveden Farms Ltd
  • Natural England
  • Breckland Council

Simultaneously, a ‘missing persons’ exercise will be operating in areas of Thetford forest adjacent to the HVP exercise. This will be coordinated by Norfolk Constabulary from a base within the SHA and delivered by voluntary sector responders.

Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Roy Harold said: "Train hard, work easy is an old adage, but an appropriate one. Triton will be a tough and challenging test of the UK's national resilience capacity, within which Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service is proud to play a significant role. The flooding we experienced on 23 June, which generated the highest number of 999 calls ever received in a single 24 hour period into our Control room, reminds us of the great value of realistic and stretching exercises in readying our crews to respond to emergencies."

Norfolk County Council’s Chairman of Communities, Margaret Dewsbury said: “Living in a beautiful, rural part of the country means we must be very mindful of forest fires and the hazards of living in this environment. The Triton 2 exercise is a fantastic opportunity for Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service to demonstrate their skills and capabilities, working alongside their counterparts from across the country. Testing and training the resilience of staff for such an operation is so important.”

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