The Railway Tunnel at Jarvis Brook was recently the location of two major incidents involving a range of emergency services – fortunately these were training exercises and not real scenarios!
The Jarvis Brook tunnel is 1000m long and with the line currently closed, it presented an ideal opportunity for East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to test their response and collaborative working with a range of emergency services and partner agencies, which included Sussex Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service, Hazard Area Response Team from Crawley, as well as Network Rail and BAM Nuttall.
Firefighters put their core skills to the test during two different exercises, which took place on Friday 22nd January and Monday 25th January, over both a day and a night shift. Crews were faced with a range of challenging scenarios which included an emergency response to help two work men who had been run over by a piece of equipment, resulting in crush injuries. One casualty had his leg trapped underneath a crane flatbed.
The second exercise took place during a night shift, and involved a simulated fire in the tunnel where a heavy plant operator was trapped in the crane cab following a heart attack, trapping two of his colleagues in the load trailer.
John Haizelden, Crew Manager, Crowborough Community Fire Station, said:
This has been a really good example of testing our emergency procedures in conjunction with our partner agencies.
Crews were presented with some very challenging situations due to the logistics and locality of the incident alongside the severity of the injuries we were faced with. It was an extremely beneficial training exercise, and allowed our crews to practice their core skills within a realistic simulation of a multi-agency incident.
Jade Hibbins, spokesperson for contractor, BAM Nuttall, said:
The trial safety drill was a fantastic display of collaboration between the Emergency Services, us the contractor and our client Network Rail on our Crowborough Tunnel site. The safety drill was successful with full co-operation from all subcontractors involved in the event. Well done to all involved.
Photos taken by Madeleine Norman Photography.