North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust along with Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service will be taking part in a major training exercise today (Thursday, 18 September 2014); designed to test the initial joint response of all three emergency services, taking place at Merseyside.
The exercise – codenamed Joint Endeavour – will take place at the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Training and Development Academy on Storrington Avenue, Croxteth, and will include incident commanders from Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
The exercise is the culmination of a national two-year training programme for incident commanders across the emergency services, which aims to ensure the blue light emergency services across the country work effectively together to save lives when responding to a major incident.
Joint Endeavour, which will run for 14 hours, will involve nearly 1,000 people, including officers and staff from Merseyside Police, MF&RS and North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, and partner organisations including Liverpool City Council, British Transport Police, the Ministry of Defence and the Environment Agency.
Driven by the emergency services, the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP) – is the largest and most ambitious joint training programme ever undertaken by the three blue light services.
The training, which promotes the overarching aim of the programme – ‘Working Together Saving Lives’ – is mainly directed at officers who are likely to take command in the very early stages of the response to a major incident. Other organisations which have also been involved include HM Coastguard and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.
The programme was created after public inquiries following a number of major incidents, including the London bombings in 2005 and the Derek Bird shootings in Cumbria in 2010, reported that although the emergency services worked well independently, they did not work together as well as they could.
Bob Williams, Chief Executive for North West Ambulance NHS Trust said:
“We are extremely pleased to be part of such an exciting programme that involves all emergency services, this is a great opportunity to demonstrate and, more importantly, put to test the joint operability skills we have been able to develop through the JESIP programme. “This live exercise has taken two years to achieve and will see commanders and control room staff from all blue light emergency services working to the same principles for joint working; applying standard models for sharing incident information and enabling rapid, effective joint decision making – a national standard for all emergency services. All staff involved have worked very hard to bring this multi-agency exercise to fruition.”
Steve Wheaton, JESIP Assistant Senior Responsible Officer, said:
“We are grateful to the agencies on Merseyside for agreeing to host this massive event. It will mark the culmination of the first phase of JESIP, which has seen the creation of a unique joint training programme, bringing together personnel from the three bluelight services, and other responder organisations, solely to improve even further the service they give to the public in situations of crisis.”
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens said:
“Exercise Joint Endeavour will simulate the significant challenge faced by emergency service personnel when a major incident occurs. The exercise will require all three emergency services to work closely together to manage hazards and effect numerous rescues. Exercises like Joint Endeavour are invaluable, as they allow our specialist teams to put their skills and knowledge to the test under highly realistic conditions in an environment where effective co-ordination with other emergency services and agencies is essential. “Our firefighters and the Urban Search and Rescue Team carry out regular training to ensure they are prepared to deal with all eventualities, with the most up-to-date equipment and knowledge to respond to any incident.
“Merseyside was selected to host the largest validation exercise of the national programme JESIP – the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme. More than 45 officers at our Service have completed the JESIP training so far and the courses they have been on have also led to many good working relationships forming amongst the three emergency services.”
Assistant Chief Constable Darren Martland, said:
“The exercise today is the culmination of two years training across the emergency services and it will test the joint response of the emergency services, and a number of other agencies, in relation to those initial hours following a major incident. “JESIP has trained more than 10,000 incident commanders across the emergency services to improve crucial areas of communication between the services, develop a better understanding of the different roles and responsibilities and ensure more effective joint decision making. “Joint Endeavour will test that training, which is designed to improve the service provided to the public by all three emergency services. Our ultimate aim as emergency services is to protect and save lives and reduce harm and by continually reviewing how we work together we can ensure we provide an effective and efficient service to those in need.”