Ellesmere Port Civic Way offices the location for major live exercise

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will be leading a dramatic live exercise to enable everyone involved to practice their response to a major incident in the now empty Ellesmere Port council building at 4 Civic Way.

Exercise Civic Flame will be delivered jointly with partner agencies to challenge the joint understanding of risk when dealing with such an incident.

Running from 10:00am – 1:00pm on Tuesday 26 March, participants include Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire Police, North West Ambulance Service, health partners and utility companies. The scenario will include simulated smoke and volunteer actors playing casualties with a varying degree of injuries that would be expected following the type of incident being portrayed.

People in Ellesmere Port town centre will see several fire engines and other emergency vehicles in the vicinity and, prior to the exercise, on the coach park at Cheshire Oaks. To facilitate the exercise part of the Civic Centre car park will be closed - the space behind the former office building, the small, permit-only car park in front of the building; and the first four rows of the main car park.

These sections of the car park will be closed from 6pm on 25 March to 4pm on 26 March 2024. Alternative free long stay parking is available at Wellington Road North car park.

There will be a small impact on car park users and the exercise will be visible to people in the vicinity.

The exercise is a great training opportunity for multi-agency responders to test plans and procedures in place for responding to a major incident.

Alex Waller, Chief Fire Officer of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, explained the reason for the exercise:

“The fact that incidents such as this are rare in real life means it is vitally important that our firefighters and officers have the skills to respond if they ever need to.
“This scenario gives us the opportunity to test our plans for working alongside our partners when dealing with a fire in a large office building in a town centre with a considerable number of staff inside.”

Delyth Curtis, Chief Executive of Cheshire West and Cheshire Council said:

“It is incredibly important that we properly test our plans for emergency incidents. Exercise Civic Flame provides us with a fantastic opportunity to provide all participating teams with a realistic training scenario.
“Our aim is to have Council teams trained to the highest possible standards to support our emergency service colleagues in safely and effectively dealing with crisis situations. This sort of exercise really helps us all prepare for major incidents which are thankfully rare. I’m sure it will be a useful learning experience for us all.”