Date Published : September 17th, 2015 Published By : admin
A multi agency water based training exercise took place on Lough Erne recently involving the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, RNLI and St Angelo Airport Fire Service. The exercise was used as an opportunity to test emergency response plans between the agencies as well as sharing information about resources and capabilities. The training programme further enhanced the strong working bonds between the agencies taking part which ultimately will keep the local community safe.
Western Area Station Commander with Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) is Padraig McKeon. He said: “The purpose of this training initiative was to familiarise personnel from each of the agencies with what resources, capabilities and specialism’s are available to them, to build on interagency relationships and enhance the emergency cover within the Fermanagh area regarding water related incidents”.
“Firefighters attend water related rescue incidents and water rescue is an integral part of NIFRS emergency response capability. We found this training initiative extremely beneficial as it reinforced our procedures and systems for attending water rescues on Lough Erne. This initiative will ultimately benefit the people of Fermanagh and visitors to the area by strengthening our integrated emergency response capability. I would like to thank Western Area Crew Commander Michael Curran for organising the event and Enniskillen Delta Watch for their involvement” he said.
Both the PSNI and the NIFRS have a Memorandum of Understanding regarding incidents on Lough Erne. PSNI Inspector Rory Hoy, said this exercise has tested procedures. “The PSNI and NIFRS have a ‘memorandum of understanding’ regarding the transportation of colleagues from NIFRS to incidents on Lough Erne and this exercise was designed to test procedures. Police boats patrol the lake engaging in specific operations as well as general anti-crime patrols. We often work with statutory and voluntary organisations. The PSNI is committed to maintaining high standards of training to ensure we have the capability and capacity to work seamlessly with partner agencies on Lough Erne.”