Safer on the Aire & Calder

Published: Friday, 25 March 2011

BOATERS can perhaps feel a little safer navigating the Aire & Calder, as the emergency services have just completed a practice river rescue at Castleford.

Named Exercise Eddy, it was organised by West Yorkshire Fire Service, with fire crews, ambulance teams and specialist police units working together to rescue casualties from a pretend boat collision on the Aire & Calder Navigation.

Missing boaters

Even a police helicopter was scrambled to assist an underwater team, who searched for missing boaters in the river—as it would in a real emergency.

The event was part of national Exercise Watermark, organised by the Environmental Agency, to see how the emergency services were prepared in certain areas for flash flooding, overflowing rivers, collapsing reservoirs and such.

Opportunity to work together

It gave all the emergency services an opportunity to work together, which reassured them that the things practised separately will work when all the services are required.

Mick Hardacre, Manager of West Yorkshire Ambulance hazardous area response team told that it tested whether its training works and the ability of the staff. And gives them confidence to know they can work well in difficult circumstances.