Operation broken wing

St Andrew’s First Aid volunteers joined with the police, fire, ambulance and coastguard crews to carry out a major training exercise on the River Clyde. The test scenario simulated a high-speed collision between a speedboat and a seaplane near the Glasgow Science Centre, leaving 16 people stranded in the water. First Aiders, police, firefighters, ambulance crews, the coastguard and the Glasgow Port Authority were all involved in Exercise Broken Wing. Fire crews used two brand-new boats to steer through choppy waters, burning wreckage and chemicals to bring the casualties to safety.

The exercise was designed to test the ability of rescue teams to cope with a complex and fast-moving situation involving large numbers of casualties and hazards. Assistant Chief Officer David Goodhew, the Director of Operations at Strathclyde Fire & Rescue, explained: “Broken Wing deliberately set a nightmare scenario for crews, with numerous casualties in a dangerous environment. Involving hazards like water, fuel, fire and chemicals – as well as casualties suffering impact injuries, burns and drowning – it provided a realistic challenge for everyone involved.

“While we hope never to have an incident of this type, exercises like this provide an invaluable opportunity for the emergency services to practice how we would respond. As a result of this exercise, we will be more experienced and better prepared for a serious incident on the River Clyde or any other body of water.”

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