An emergency response exercise involving the St Helena Fire & Rescue Service (SHF&RS), Port Control and crew of the MV Helena was carried out on Tuesday, 18 June 2019.
The exercise was divided into two scenarios with a fire and casualty situation in the Fo’c’s’le Store and a case of an injured person who had fallen into the Number Two Cargo Hold.
Brigade Manager, Alan Thomas, commented:
“First and foremost, I would like to convey our appreciation and sincere thanks to Captain Williams and crew of the MV Helena for allowing us to interrupt their busy schedule to facilitate us during this exercise.
“These scenario-based exercises are important, in order for us to test our initial emergency response capabilities and our operational resilience to such incidents. It also forges good working relationships while testing the interoperability between different agencies.
“Like all exercises, there were key learning points that will be and has been addressed for future reference. However, even though this was our first ‘live’ exercise, it was an overall success, bearing in mind the ship is an unfamiliar working environment for the SHF&RS.
“Thank you to all involved for your tremendous efforts.”
Captain of the MV Helena, Adam Williams, added:
“This has proved to be an invaluable exercise from which all associated parties will have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. The potential of a fire aboard a ship while moored at Rupert’s Jetty is very real. This is a new learning and proving ground for SHF&RS, and I am pleased we have been able to facilitate such an exercise. I am also pleased with the level of interest the SHF&RS has shown in the MV Helena and the willingness to become familiar with the challenging and often hostile shipboard environment.
“The SHF&RS staff conducted themselves with the utmost enthusiasm and professionalism during the entire exercise. While the environment was completely new to them, their high level of training and their ability to adapt and deal with an unfamiliar environment was readily apparent to all concerned.
“The entire SHF&RS team are a vitally important emergency service and a much appreciated asset to both the Island and of course to the MV Helena when berthed at Rupert’s. We on the MV Helena are proud and pleased to establish this working relationship with the team.
“Additionally, the Controller at the St Helena Control Room should be congratulated for his professionalism and efficiency in handling this unusual emergency scenario. A credit to the wider emergency community.”
Harbour Master, Steve Kirk, concluded:
“I must say that overall it proved to be a very successful exercise carried out by everyone involved and with the utmost professionalism too.
“Port Control may have only played a small part in this operation, but it was great to see different departments/sectors working together towards the same goal. Hopefully, we’ll be able to repeat this again in the coming months. Thanks once again to all involved.”
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24 June 2019