Students help with emergency services training

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Students help with emergency services training

08 October 2014

Our Uniformed Public Service (UPS) students were given a valuable insight into what it is like to deal with an emergency incident when they took part in a Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service (RBFRS) major incident training exercise at the Madejski Stadium, Reading.


The students played the part of victims in a chemical attack by opposition fans at a football match who threw an unknown chemical powder over them. This required them to enthusiastically play the part of casualties and demonstrate symptoms, including coughing and collapsing, to add to the realism for the RBFRS teams.

They were then taken through the whole decontamination process including disrobing into uncontaminated capes and going through decontamination showers and cleaning tents before being declared safe.

Senior UPS tutor Nigel Pumffrey was impressed with the dedication of the students and the RBFRS staff:

“The exercise went very well even though it was delayed by two actual house fires as these exercises are dealt with by crews who still have to respond to real emergencies. This made it a long night for the students but they were a credit to the college and it was a good experience for them to be able to help and work with the Fire & Rescue service. This will add to their knowledge of how major incidents are dealt with.”


UPS student Abi McMullen, 18, from Bracknell learnt a lot from the experience:

“It was good to see the ways in which chemical incidents are dealt with in the real world and I also believe it was good practise for the fire service. We were given all of the right equipment to use like it was a real incident so now we have the knowledge if this was to happen with any of us present.”

UPS student Mary Freyne, 18, from Bracknell added:

“Even though the weather was awful and cold the exercise went well considering the fire fighters had to attend real incidents across Berkshire and Reading while the exercise was going on. It showed really well how incidents like this would be dealt with in a real life situation.”

If you would like to apply for a place on the college’s UPS course or any of their other BTEC or A Level courses there is still time to apply for this September. Visit our curriculum pages or call 01344 868600.

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