Preparing For The Worst - RAF Test Disaster Response Skills

At least once every two years, all flying stations must conduct a full crash exercise to ensure their response skills are up to date.

Both military and civilian personnel are brought together, and an emergency is created with as much realism as possible.

The scenarios are often highly complex.

At this crash exercise, there was a major logistical operation involving the airfield to practically shut down and members of the civilian emergency services pulled away from their normal duties. 

Ian Perkins, Watch Manager, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service described the scene;

"We got a simulation of a road traffic collision, following an aircraft crash.

"There are four people in the vehicle that's been involved with the fuel tanker and we've got walking wounded as well as people trapped."

Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP) was introduced 5 years ago after reports found communication between the services when responding to major incidents was lacking.

It is not just differences in terminology but everything down to unfamiliar equipment can slow the teams down.

Personnel must learn how to handle the media at the most difficult time.

This live practice is vital to ensure that should the worst ever happen – the response is the best it can be.

More from Forces TV: Army Medics Test Mass Casualty Response.