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Crews from across Southampton, in partnership with the City Council, will be taking part in a 'live fire' exercise at a block of low rise council flats, which are due to be regenerated in Meggeson Avenue, Townhill Park.
This training supports Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service's objective to make the people of Hampshire feel safer by continuing our strive for excellence in all that we do.
Station Manager Mickey Smither from Redbridge Fire Station said:
"This is an ideal opportunity for the media to come along and observe local firefighters training in a realistic environment. Crews will be participating in a range of activities which will enable them to maintain the core skills required to successfully resolve a fire related incident at this type of premises."
"This unique opportunity has arisen due to the excellent partnership between Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Southampton City Council who have kindly allowed us to use this building, and others, for training purposes before they are demolished as part of their exciting Estate Regeneration Programme. These buildings will be handed over to the selected Developer, Lovell Partnership Limited in due course who will be an integral part for us to continue this type of essential training."
Blue Watch Manager Simon Packer from Redbridge Fire Station said:
“The exercise has arisen due to the excellent partnership between Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Southampton City Council who have kindly allowed us to use this building for training purposes before they are demolished as part of their exciting Estate Regeneration programme. This opportunity has been a huge benefit for our crews and our colleagues from South Central Ambulance Service HART team who participated in this realistic scenario. As well as familiarising operational crews with different types of dwellings, exercises like this also raises fire safety awareness of local residents”
“The scenarios that were set up in the flats today illustrated how quickly a fire can develop and the importance of early detection and evacuation in the event of this happening for real within somebody’s home. I can only stress the importance of having working smoke detectors and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service strongly recommends that you fit at least one smoke alarm to each level of your home and ensure that they are tested on a weekly basis. In the event of a fire residents should not attempt to tackle a fire but immediately vacate the premises, closing all doors on the way out to stop the fire from spreading, and call the emergency services. Within blocks of flats we advise other residents to stay inside with their doors shut as this provides adequate protection from heat, smoke and flames and await the arrival of the fire service.”
Councillor Royston Smith, Leader of Southampton City Council, and Chairman of the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said:
"I am keen that Hampshire Fire and Rescue and Southampton City Council have a close working relationship for the benefit of all our residents in the city, and such opportunities like this fire exercise can be something that we build on in the future and where we can also provide advice, education and community engagement as people's wellbeing will always be my first concern."
Councillor Peter Baillie, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
"As part of the estate regeneration programme,we are emptying blocks of flats where the community have been consulted and supported proposals to transform the area. It is one of these blocks that Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is using for this major fire exercise, which I hope will reassure our council tenants living in tower blocks that their safety is our first priority, and we will continue to work closely with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service to ensure this."