Home » RAF Coningsby: Helicopter crash simulated for training exercise

RAF Coningsby: Helicopter crash simulated for training exercise

By David McKenna,BBC News

Lincolnshire Police Emergency crews at Donna NookLincolnshire Police

The training exercise was designed to replicate an evolving emergency

Emergency services have taken part in an exercise to practise how they would respond to a helicopter crash.

Police, fire and ambulance crews took part in the training at RAF Coningsby and RAF Donna Nook, in Lincolnshire, on Tuesday.

It simulated a RAF Chinook crash with fatalities and “a large environmental spill to contend with”.

The RAF said it was an opportunity to test a multi-agency response to a major incident.

Lincolnshire Police Command centre at RAF ConingsbyLincolnshire Police

A command centre was set up at RAF Coningsby

As part of the exercise, a control room was set up at RAF Coningsby, and a mock crash site was set up at RAF Donna Nook.

The exercise was designed to replicate an evolving crash situation as emergency services worked to rescue the crew of the stricken helicopter as the tide closed in.

Wg Cdr Jim Errington said: “In a real situation, having emergency service experts close by, as RAF Coningsby co-ordinates the response, is invaluable.

“Like everybody else, I hope the real thing never happens. But if it does, we at RAF Coningsby need to be ready and this exercise successfully tested that readiness.”

Lincolnshire Police’s drone team provided a link from the operational site to the tactical command centre, with other agencies including East Midlands Ambulance Service, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and the Maritime Coastguard Agency all taking part.

John Williams, who is in charge of Lincolnshire Police’s emergency planning division, said officers were now in a better position to manage a major Incident.

Incident commander, Sqn Ldr Kathryn Janes added: “Because the RAF and the emergency services could be asked to respond to an incident at any time, this exercise is just one part of an ongoing training cycle.”

She said a “full scale” exercise to “test every aspect of our incident response” would take place in 2025.

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