A massive flood hit a music festival at Daventry Country Park on Sunday, leaving crowds of people stranded and prompting the emergency evacuation of the entire area – but none of it was real.
The scenario was just one of several staged events taking place throughout the day as part of a multi-agency training exercise led by Northamptonshire County Council’s Emergency Planning team and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Exercise Patron also involved Northants 4x4 Response, Northants Search and Rescue, Northampton Emergency Aid Team, British Red Cross, the RSPCA and the Maritime Volunteer Service. The day also involved the Northamptonshire Police Specials, East Midlands Ambulance Service and the local Army Cadets.
The day included three exercises in public areas. The first saw the rescue of stranded festival-goers from areas of Daventry Country Park. These ‘casualties’ were played by volunteers, including Daventry’s mayor Cllr Wendy Randall. All those playing injured people were then transferred to reception centres at Danetre Hospital and Daventry Community Centre.
The second public exercise was built around the scenario of a distressed dog walker ringing the emergency services to say that a horse rider had been thrown from their horse at Stanwick Lakes. Finally, teams worked to rescue live casualties from the water at Stanwick Lakes.
Fire Service Manager Warren Ellison said: “Exercise Patron was a brilliant opportunity for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service to work closely with other agencies in order to rehearse our response to a real life flooding incident.
“We worked with Northamptonshire County Council’s emergency planning team for several months to set this up and I would like to say thank you to all the teams involved for their hard work. I am also very grateful to the volunteers who agreed to take part and play different roles during the staged rescue operations.”
Anyone who would like to find out more about volunteering for an emergency response organisation in the future can visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/emergencies.