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Stirling hosts training exercise with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

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A fake explosion and chemical spill at the University of Stirling today allowed firefighters to become more prepared for tackling a real emergency.

The staged incident took place at Laboratory 4B147 in the Cottrell Building and provided the fire service with an opportunity to gain experience of the building and possible hazards, with the aim of improving their preparations for a real incident at the University or elsewhere.

Four fire engines with their crews from Stirling and Bridge of Allan and a firefighter decontamination unit attended the Cottrell Building for much of the day.

The exact nature of the incident was only revealed to the firefighters on the day to replicate a real incident with developments on-going, prompting the personnel to respond in real time and allow the University staff to test their procedures.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Area Manager Kenny Rogers, local senior officer for Stirling and Clackmannanshire, said: "This joint exercise is an excellent example of partnership working, skills sharing and development of techniques to ensure that should an emergency situation arise, all parties will be best trained and equipped to deal with the incident and bring it to the safest possible conclusion.

"Whilst the Fire Service and the University hope to never face a chemical incident within the University buildings, conducting exercises for such events provides an invaluable opportunity to work together testing procedures and allowing us to improve on them. Working with University staff allowed them to implement their procedures to provide the most effective response. By reviewing each exercise we can continually improve these procedures; reducing casualties, preventing the incident from escalating further and protecting the surrounding environment."

He added: "This was a very successful exercise, testing both local fire crews in a realistic working environment. There is a need for us as a fire and rescue service to test our procedures in a safe and controlled manner within our local community."

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