CREWS from across Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
(GMFRS) were joined by cadets and volunteers for Rochdale's annual
borough-wide training exercise.
Ten fire engines and four special appliances attended the
large-scale exercise on Saturday, June 30, which involved a mock
The scenario involved a number of schoolchildren (played by the
cadets) who had broken into a disused refrigeration plant, where
one of the youngsters had fractured a pipe and valve leading to a
large ammonia storage tank.
As part of the scenario, the tank released approximately 10,000
litres of liquid ammonia, causing a large toxic gas cloud which had
overcome the youngsters inside the premises.
Crews were also told that this had caused problems for local
residents who had to be evacuated due to concerns for their health
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus attempted initial
snatch rescues of the youngsters before further resources arrived
who were then committed in gas tight suits (GTS) to deal with the
leak and remaining rescues.
Community Fire Cadets from Littleborough Fire Station and GMFRS'
Community Action Team (CAT) volunteers offered their services for
the day and undertook roles including casualties, premises owners
and anxious parents.
Rochdale Station Manager Andy Bracken said: "All the crews
worked hard in hot conditions on the day and participated in the
exercise in a highly professional manner.
"The cadets and volunteers were really supportive - they took on
their roles very enthusiastically, demonstrating excellent acting
The exercise took place at Turner Brothers in Rochdale - an old
site which once employed a significant number of Rochdale people as
a manufacturer of cotton cloth-based packaging and later asbestos
More recently the site was used as a multi-occupied property but
the buildings are now empty and crews regularly use the site for