Rescue services conduct major ‘test’ operation in Elgin

Elgin was a hive of activity as emergency services worked together on a major incident involving two cars and a mini-bus.

However, Wednesday evening’s ’emergency’ was a simulation to test the ability of all branches of the emergency services to work together at a major incident.

Around 70 personnel from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, ambulance service and NHS staff were on hand to treat 13 ‘patients’ at the exercise held at Elgin Fire Station.

Fire watch manager Stephen Laing said: “This is the first time that I have been involved in a joint-agency event of this size, which goes to show how infrequently they happen.

“I have been in the fire service for quite a long time and I think this was an excellent exercise. We had a significant turnout for a road traffic collision but it does not make it a major incident for the fire service.”

Some time was taken to free one ‘casualty’ from a car but Mr Laing said that was because doctors had said the victim was stable and did not need to be moved quickly.

He added: “We created space which makes it a more comfortable removal for the casualty – if he deteriorates rapidly that tailgate was open and he would have been hauled out immediately.”

While the exercise was the first carried out involving all emergency services for some time, the fire and rescue service in Elgin carry out regular checks at potential trouble spots.

In April this year firefighters carried out an exercise that simulated casualties having to be evacuated from a smoke-filled nightclub. The Joanna’s club in Elgin and Downtown USA, Zed Bar and the Playhouse Cinema were all used for that test for five fire crews.

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