Major emergency planning exercise comes to Saddleworth

SADDLEWORTH WILL be at the centre of a three-day, disaster role play exercise later this month.

Exercise Triton II is the biggest, major live emergency planning exercise ever carried out in the region.

Nearly 40 organisations across Greater Manchester and nationally will test how local authorities, emergency services and other partners are equipped to tackle a major emergency. 

Signs warning of traffic delays between July 13-15 have appeared throughout Greenfield over the past few days.

Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, it is a requirement for local authorities and emergency services to plan for major incidents and Category 1 responders. 

Participating ‘players’ – who also include military, government, health and utility organisations – will join forces.

The multi-agency exercise will include a live response search and rescue play in the Oldham and Rochdale areas on Thursday, July 14. There will be a period of infrequent air activity around these areas from 10am to 10pm. 

Paul Argyle, Chair of Greater Manchester Resilience Forum, said: “Exercises like this are hugely important to ensure – as a region – we are prepared to deal with a real-life major event or disaster, should it occur.

Police, firefighters and paramedics will work side-by-side with around 33 partner agencies including local councils, utility companies, the military and specialist search and rescue teams to respond to the disaster during that week. 

“The scale of the scenario will give these organisations a vital opportunity to practise skills and functions that are rarely used but are necessary in the event of a major incident. 

“I would like to assure residents across the region that it will be business as usual during this exercise.

“I would also like to express my thanks to all the volunteers who will be taking part. With them on board we will be able to ensure we provide the best support possible for our residents and communities should such incidents occur.”

Among agencies involved in the ‘disaster’ scenario will be: Oldham Mountain Rescue Service, HM Coastguard, North West Ambulance Air Service, British Red Cross, the Met Office, Environmental Agency and 10 Greater Manchester Councils, including Oldham.


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