Wales Urban Search and Rescue Team Training Exercise

The Wales Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team recently attended a training exercise at the Waddington Training Centre, Lincolnshire.

This simulated a Wales USAR deployment to a large-scale incident out of Wales, on the East coast of England. The team deployed as a USAR convoy consisting of seven specialist vehicles and fourteen USAR Technicians.

The Wales USAR Team is comprised of crew members from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service – who have highly specialised training in Urban Search and Rescue environments.

The team were self-sufficient while deployed, as they would be at an incident. The team were required to set up a Base of Operations, logistics and decontamination areas.

By utilising a variety of specialist equipment, the four-day training exercise aimed to test, develop and refine the team’s capabilities command and control, national radio procedures rescue operations at height, shoring skill sets, breaching and breaking techniques for metal, concrete and search and rescue within confined spaces. 

The second day of the exercise involved team members taking part in a simulated explosion incident with two missing persons.  The exercise provided the opportunity to practice the correct techniques for breaching and breaking concrete and to deploy the Wales USAR search dog, Cooper, who quickly identified an area of interest, enabling the team to deploy their technical search equipment to locate and communicate with the casualties.

Team members were also able to develop and implement technical rescue plans, including the assessment of the situation, and choosing the appropriate rescue technique and implementing protocols for various emergency situations.

Gareth Lewis, Wales USAR Team Manager, said:

“This deployment was a testament to our readiness and expertise.  Our team excelled in a realistic scenario, demonstrating our ability to respond swiftly to any incident in Wales and beyond to support our partners across the UK.

We’re extremely proud to uphold the standards outlined in the USAR Concept of Operations document.”

Keep up to date with the Wales USAR Team on their Instagram account.