Blake UK Annual Training Deployment Exercise
Over the weekend of 11th and 12th October Blake Emergency Services conducted an open air notification / activation and field deployment exercise in the UK.
Team members from the UK, Australia, South Africa, Canada, France and the Netherlands arrived on the Friday evening for a pre deployment briefing followed by pre deployment checks and travel arrangements with their respective Support Team Leaders who had visited the site as part of the assessment team earlier that afternoon.
The exercise was designed to provide members with a range of realistic, stimulating, challenging activities in response to an aircraft accident scenario which involved recovery site, temporary mortuary, and property operations.
On the day of the exercise conditions at the recovery site proved extremely challenging due to a combination of heavy rain, cold and undulating terrain – however members did not shrink from the task of carrying out a systematic and organised removal of dressed mannequin bodies, body parts and property from the hillside
Charles Tacey Blake Director of Training said,
This was a difficult and demanding task made all the worse by the poor weather conditions – but this is what we often find ourselves up against in a real deployment situation, and I was extremely proud and impressed by the way our members worked under such arduous conditions.
At a separate location a few miles from the simulated crash site, local facilities were kindly provided to enable Blake Emergency Services Relative Care and Admin / Data Inputting Teams to conduct relative enquiry, care, information gathering, data inputting and administration activities.
Communication between both sites was a key factor in the data gathering process with Team Leaders and members engaging strongly to provide clear and accurate information sharing between each of the arenas, thereby ensuring a controlled and traceable flow of relevant fatality and property details.
Care team activity involved interaction with a large group of role players who acted as relatives of the passengers and crew onboard the affected flight and who brought into play issues such as emotional, religious, ethnic and cultural considerations. This proved an extremely beneficial opportunity for a number of new team members to experience the challenges associated with the empathic and caring manner in which our experienced team members assist relative enquirers on a real deployment.
This exercise provided a clear opportunity to test our member’s ability to work in a co-ordinated fashion, prioritising tasks and providing a range of solutions to various demands and challenges associated with each and every aspect of the deployment operation and it was clearly evident their high level of commitment and dedication ensured that a number of well thought out solutions and actions were carried out to support the response effort.
Noel Pollard Managing Director of Blake Emergency Services commented – “The dedication and skills of the Team members taking part, many of whom are new, was of an extremely high standard for which I thank them all. My thanks also go to Charles, Richard, Angela and John and other members of the team for all their work in making the exercise such a success”
Friday Evening, Exercise Briefing. Incident location, Interviewing Families, Administration, Temporary Mortuary and Body Holding unit