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Birmingham Resilience Team is taking part in Exercise Unified Response

More than 4,000 people are taking part in the largest emergency training exercise ever held in Europe. The operation is taking place at a disused power station near Dartford, and is simulating a building collapse near London Waterloo.

Emergency responders from the police, ambulance, local authorities and Transport for London are practicing a co-ordinated response.

The exercise has seen a building collapse onto a mocked-up underground station.

More than 70 agencies are involved in the staged emergency, which will last four days.

Teams are also working in a specially constructed temporary mortuary.

The scenario involves a tower block which is being renovated collapsing onto “Waterloo” tube station. 

To create the most realistic environment possible, an entire tube station has been recreated and then “crushed” in a disused power station.

With more than 1,000 casualties, thousands of tonnes of rubble, seven tube carriages and hundreds of emergency service responders, Exercise Unified Response (EUR) has been more than a year in the planning. 

Organisers say the exercise provides a realistic training environment for specialist Urban Search and Rescue teams from all over the country. 

And the huge scale of the incident also gives a chance for specialist teams from the police and ambulance service plus local authorities to practice skills and functions that are rarely used. 

Teams are also be working alongside firefighters from Italy, Hungary and Cyprus who have also been mobilised to the incident.

 London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson, said: “Exercises of this scale are important to ensure that we are always ready to respond no matter what happens.

“You can’t get this sort of experience from a text book, we need to play it like its real and ensure that should the worst happen, our response is effective and well-coordinated. 


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