Cadets take part in Emergency Services Exercise

Cadets take part in Emergency Services Exercise

28 March 2024

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

50 of our cadets joined in with a large multi-agency emergency exercise at Huntingdon Fire and Rescue centre on Wednesday 27th March, to test the skills of the Fire Brigade, Ambulance Service and the Police in dealing with a devastating fire with many trapped victims.

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Cadets are briefed by Chris Parker

The pretend scenario involved a large number of young people, played by the cadets, at an illegal rave, to which Police officers are called. When they arrive, the officers see smoke coming from the building and hear people screaming for help. 20 cadets, were ‘trapped’ on the second floor with a further ten on the roof, with a further twenty outside the building creating havoc for the police.

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Cadets dancing in the 'rave.'

The scene was quickly attended by multiple fire engines and ambulances, whose crews had to deal with a variety of realistic injuries to those outside the venue, with fire fighters going on to don breathing apparatus and enter the building via ladders and stairs, ultimately bringing down all the cadets safely for them to be treated by their paramedic colleagues.

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Firefighters arrive on the scene.

Paramedic Amy Thomson, who helped organise the event, said; ‘We thought of involving the cadets as we needed a large amount of people willing to come to the event. Live ‘casualties’ always make a huge difference. When you are working with someone you can see and treat, they have make-up on, so they have realistic injuries. The cadets were amazing, they acted as if they had breathing difficulties, some of them pretended to be drunk, and having them screaming from the building really builds the atmosphere, which is really important.’

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Treating a casualty, PI George Dutton.

The cadets on the roof had to be rescued with a turn table ladder and cherry picker, which lowered them to the ground. Cadet Lance Corporal Emilia Oliver said : ‘We were the people in the rave, who when the fire started, panicked to try to escape the smoke and fire. We were all screaming for help and then we were rescued by the firefighters by being put in a cherry picker. It was a bit scary when it started moving!’ Cadet Corporal Alexa Rogers added; ‘It was exiting and fun. We learned about what to do in a fire, such as keeping calm and following instructions.’

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Cadets call for help from the roof.

Chris Parker, Crew Commander Blue Watch, Huntingdon Fire Station, (also a former Cambs ACF instructor), said: ‘The reason for putting an exercise like this on is to test our skills on the incident ground, working in collaboration with the ambulance service and police, it all helps when we go out onto the streets in the real world, making sure we can do our job to the best of our ability. I want to say a massive thankyou to Huntingdon and St Ives Army Cadets for giving up their time. The cadets were phenomenal, the effort they put in, there wasn’t a single complaint about being cold wet or dragged out of buildings, so thank you very much.’


Cadets bought down from the roof.

The exercise proved to be a huge success with all the objectives being met, and the emergency services skilfully co-ordinating their responses and carrying out an efficient rescue and treatment of casualties.


'Rescued' cadets.

Text and photos by SI Doug Stuart