Emergency services along with English Heritage simulated a fire at Osborne House as part of a major training exercise on Sunday 27 September 2015.
Fire crews from both the Isle of Wight and Hampshire worked closely with colleagues at Hampshire Constabulary and English Heritage to simulate and jointly resolve a fire incident which, in the scenario, started in the basement at Osborne House. Red Funnel Ferries supported the exercise by transporting emergency vehicles across to the island.
The simulated incident gave fire crews and police an opportunity to test resilience and also gave staff at English Heritage an opportunity to practice salvage operations. We also simulated how we would use an ultra high pressure lance as part of fire fighting operations to protect salvage crews.
Chief Officer of both Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Services, Dave Curry said:
"This was the first time we have arranged a major exercise on the island and deployed crews from Hampshire to assist the crews on the island.
“All objectives of the training exercise were safely achieved with valuable learning points identified by all agencies taking part. I am very grateful to all those who participated in such a worthwhile exercise."
Rob Flower, General Manager, Osborne, added:
“Osborne is a precious part of our national heritage, both the building and the objects within it are highly significant and we take their care and conservation extremely seriously. It is great to know that the Isle of Wight and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services and Hampshire Constabulary share that commitment and we have been impressed by the professionalism and proactivity of all agencies involved in developing and implementing this exercise.”
Inspector Andy McDonald from Hampshire Constabulary said:
“These exercises give the emergency services the opportunity to work together in realistic incident scenarios. They are only possible with the commitment of all those taking part and the help and assistance of local community and outside agencies, such as English Heritage, who provide us with a superb training environment. We always hope that the skills we learn, develop and practice will never have to be put to use at a real incident, but if they are, then we are as well prepared as we can be.”
Councillor Phil Jordan, Executive Member for Public Health, Public Protection and PFI, said:
“I am pleased to hear that the large-scale exercise at Osborne was executed so effectively. I’m sure it will reassure colleagues at English Heritage and our local residents, that we are so well equipped to manage an incident that could pose a threat to a major piece of the Island’s heritage. It is also testament to our colleagues in the fire and rescue service, that their plans and training have been tested effectively should there ever be the need to put such plans into real practice; which let’s hope they never have to do.”