Major exercise at Pleasley Vale mill tests fire evacuation procedures after Grenfell Tower disaster

A major fire safety exercise at Pleasley Vale is set to test newly upgraded evacuation procedures following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

By Dale Spridgeon
Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 4:30 pm

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service will be carrying out the training, with a number of partner organisations at the Pleasley Vale Business Park on Sunday, September 26.

The exercise aims to test the service’s new evacuation procedures which were updated following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Seventy two people died and others were injured in a blaze at the high rise building at Kensington, in London in June, 2017.

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The training exercise will take place at the weekend

The exercise, in the six-storey former textile mill on Outgang Lane, will involve 15 fire engines, six fire officers, numerous firefighters and up to 60 volunteers acting as live casualties.

It will also involve Derbyshire and Leicestershire’s Fire and Rescue Services, Nottinghamshire Police, Nottinghamshire County Council, Bolsover District Council and others.

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The training will start at 10am and is expected to finish between 12 and 1pm, followed by an evaluation and learning points will be shared with all the partner organisations.

Smoke curtains will be used as part of the training

The fire service is keen to reassure residents that there will be a lot of activity in the area, and urge people not to be concerned.

The NFRS has already introduced smoke hoods and smoke curtains, which are particularly useful for evacuating residents of high-rise buildings.

Smoke hoods were used for the first time in Nottinghamshire during the rescue of a Radford woman from a fire back in June.

A statement from the NFRS said the procedures could help to make sure the service could be “more effectively serve people living in high-rise buildings.”

Chris Emmott, group manager – risk and assurance, said: “There will be a lot of activity at the site on Sunday morning, so we wanted to let people know there is nothing to worry about and that we are just training. We would also like to thank the building owners and our partners for their assistance.

"We will learn a lot from this exercise and will put into practice the new procedures following the tragic loss of life during the fire at Grenfell Tower.

“This exercise will really test our firefighters on evacuating large numbers of residents from high-rise buildings and prepare us for any future incidents of a similar nature.”

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