07 December 2019
First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) has worked in partnership with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) to support their training operations.
On Saturday 7 December 2019, GMFRS held a high rise training exercise in FCHO-owned tower block, Summervale House, to test its emergency evacuation procedures in response to a major incident in a high-rise building. The planned exercise – which was controlled by the fire service – involved simulating a real fire in an empty flat by using synthetic smoke, evacuation techniques and following updated safety procedures.
This exercise was carried-out in a real-life environment to allow firefighters to train in a realistic scenario to further develop and practice High-rise Immediate Residents Evacuation (HIRE) procedures. GMFRS have previously practised these procedures and techniques at their Bury-based training centre but through a strong working relationship between the two organisations, FCHO was able to provide the ideal location.
Alex Swift, Project Manager Building Compliance at First Choice Homes Oldham, said: “It’s fantastic we were able to assist one of our key partners in this way. This particular tower block has a number of empty flats ahead of planned development work, so it was an obvious solution.
“We all know the importance of multi-agency working, but the success of this event really proved how valuable these strong partnerships can be.”
Tony Morgan, Station Manager at Oldham Community Fire Station, said: “Through thorough organisation and communication, both GMFRS and FCHO were able to carefully manage the exercise from start to finish, ensuring a smooth operation.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in the incident for their invaluable support which allowed us to gather learnings on what we do well and understand where improvements can be applied to our practises moving forwards.”