THE terror of putting frightened members of the public
through decontamination is something that firefighters have to be
So crews from all Tameside Borough stations tested themselves
when they got young people from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue
Service-run programmes to act as casualties in a realistic training
Firefighters from Mossley, Stalybridge, Ashton and Hyde fire
stations took part in the training which allowed them to use
state-of-the-art mass decontamination equipment.
Watch Manager Alan Hall, from Mossley Fire Station's Blue Watch,
said: "It's really difficult for these type of exercises to be
realistic if people know what's coming so we got young people from
our Prince's Trust course to help.
"Whether we're looking at the potential of dealing with a weapon
of mass destruction or a chemical spill, there's a process we have
to put people through and they can react in unexpected ways."
The young people underwent full Wet Decontamination - where
those thought to have been contaminated have to disrobe, enter
decontamination unit to shower and be cleaned off by firefighters
and are moved on to a robing area.
Special packs containing a tracksuit and trainers are then given
to those who have been affected because their clothes would have
"You would not want people leaving the scene and reporting to
hospital," said Alan. "It's our job to decontaminate on site as
much as possible and it challenges us to, gets us to use the Mass
Decontamination Unit and makes it as realistic as it can be.
"It gives the young people on our Prince's Trust programme a
better insight into our work as well."
Mossley Blue Watch arranged the exercise and Green Watch
firefighters from Stalybridge hosted the training with Green Watch
firefighters from Ashton and Hyde all taking part in the event.