Wigan firefighters receive vital training during mock terror attack at Leigh Sports Village

Leigh Sports Village was transformed into the scene of a terrorist attack as firefighters received vital training.

Firefighters from Wigan and Bolton took part in a training exercise which saw them respond to a mock marauding terror attack.

They were joined by staff from Greater Manchester Police’s firearms unit, North West Ambulance Service and North West Fire Control.

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All firefighters are being trained to help treat and rescue of people in a terrorist attack, while ensuring they are safe.

This involves firefighters receiving three days of training – two days focusing on trauma, followed by a the third day taking part in a live play multi-agency exercise with emergency service partners.

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Named Exercise Momentum, it was delivered to build on the training and put skills into practice.

Marauding terrorist attack training will continue until all 1,200 operational crews and officers have had three days of training.

Police arrive at the mock terror attack at Leigh Sports VillagePolice arrive at the mock terror attack at Leigh Sports Village
Police arrive at the mock terror attack at Leigh Sports Village

Every fire appliance in Greater Manchester will be equipped with specialist PPE for crews to wear if needed.

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Deputy chief fire officer Ben Norman said: “The threat of a terror attack is deeply worrying, but sadly it is a reality we face here in Greater Manchester. That is why it is imperative that we are well trained, well equipped and well prepared to ensure we can respond effectively to help people if we are ever called upon.

“As well as keeping the public safe, the safety of our firefighters is an absolute priority. We have established a more resilient marauding terrorist attack capability for Greater Manchester by increasing our capacity and capability, which sees every firefighter being fully trained and every fire appliance better equipped to respond to all forms of terrorist or mass casualty incident.

“Regular training exercises such as this allow us to continue to put our collective emergency service response into practice so we can ensure we’re always ready.”

Emergency services at work during the exerciseEmergency services at work during the exercise
Emergency services at work during the exercise
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Assistant Chief Constable Wasim Chaudhry, head of Local Resilience Forum for Greater Manchester, said: "I am pleased to say the event was extremely useful and I was encouraged that so many colleagues were able to take part. Joint multi-agency training, testing and exercising is extremely valuable.”

Steve Hynes, assistant director of resilience at the ambulance service, said: “Exercises such as these are crucial to test our combined resilience and preparedness for major incidents.”