Exercise prepares Council for a crisis

Buckinghamshire Council recently held a live training exercise to test its ability to respond to emergencies. The purpose of the day was to rehearse the arrangements of setting up and running an emergency rest centre.

Exercise Yorktown took place at Wingrave Community Centre and hosted residents who had been evacuated from their homes in the village due to a suspected gas explosion.

Over 40 people were involved in the exercise which included council staff, members of the Women’s Institute and the general public. A number of observers were also present from the British Red Cross, Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes Council.

Throughout the day different scenarios were tested out including dealing with pets brought in from home, medical emergencies, keeping the evacuees safe and informed, and making sure everyone was fed and watered.

Councillor Arif Hussain, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities was also there on the day and had this to say: “I want to thank everyone who came along and helped us test out how we manage and steer our way through a crisis. The secret to doing well is to train ahead of time and this exercise was a chance to really test our plans in the heat of a disaster. Training is important, as in an emergency people don’t rise to the level of the crisis; they rise to the level of their training.”