The UK’s Health Protection Agency (http://www.hpa.org.uk/) has a role to identify and respond to ‘health hazards and emergencies caused by infectious disease, hazardous chemicals, poisons or radiation. It also makes sure the nation is ready for future threats to health that could happen naturally, accidentally or deliberately.’
Part of the role of making sure the nation is ready is to work with the Accident and Emergency Services on regular ‘desk top’ and ‘field’ exercises. We were asked to video record one of the largest field exercises that has taken place since the 1940’s. The exercise involved over 600 emergency service personnel from multiple agencies. Part of the exercise was to simulate the response and rescue of members of the public following an explosion and building collapse.
To ensure the emergency and rescue teams experience a realistic situation, members of the Casualties Union ( http://www.casualtiesunion.org.uk/) take the part of people injured. They are given realistic symptoms and injuries to reenact and are placed throughout the rubble of the collapsed building for the Emergency services to find and treat as if it was a real incident.
Whilst the video of the exercise is not available for public viewing we were able to capture the work of the Casualties Union. This is a record of their role and participation in the exercise.
WARNING: This video contains graphic images of injuries and simulated rescue situations. Whilst all injuries shown have been produced via make-up and special effects please do not watch if you are likely to be distressed by images of blood, cuts and people in simulated situations needing rescue and recovery.