Students step-up in emergency services exercise
Public Services students from Coleg Gwent had a fantastic real-life experience recently working alongside crews from the ambulance, fire and police services on a multi-agency emergency training exercise.
The exercise, held at the Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone, involved the Welsh Ambulance Service, South Wales Fire & Rescue and South Wales Police and was the first time that students on a public services course had taken part.
The emergency scenario was revealed to students on the day to increase the element of realism and involved a lift in the Campus crashing from the second floor which left multiple injuries people injured and trapped.
The students and emergency services were joined by representatives from the Civil Contingencies and Emergency Management at Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Brynmawr Town Council and Coleg Gwent health and safety officers.
The Level 3 students set up and ran the control room for the incident, commanded by an officer from the fire service and one from the police. The fire service made the lift safe and dealt any casualties trapped inside, the police controlled the ‘public’, took statements and preserved the scene allowing them to investigate whether a crime had been committed, and the ambulance service set up a triage area, administered first aid and prepared ‘casualties’ for hospital.
Coleg Gwent public services team leader Simon Jones said: “All our public services students got the chance to observe and learn how all three services work together in saving lives preventing further injury, and controlling a serious incident. Some of the students who took part are potential police officers, fire officers and paramedics and this was the ideal opportunity for them to engage with the emergency services.”
Fellow lecturer Darren Foote added: “You can’t beat the experience of students physically working alongside the professionals. It has been absolutely superb. The services were surprised and pleased with the quality of the control room we established and the students have seen exactly how the communication works between the three services. The learning experience for students has been second to none.
Level 3 Public Services student Morgan Dowell said: “All of us want to go into the fire, ambulance, police or military so this exercise is excellent as it gives us a new insight of how the world of public services works.”