Emergency services descend on Kent amusement park for 'chemical incident' training drill

ITV News Meridian's Kit Bradshaw reports on the major emergency drill in Margate

Hundreds of emergency services personnel have taken part in a large-scale training exercise to test their response to a critical incident at an amusement park in Kent.

Police, fire and ambulance staff were sent to the simulated emergency in which a ‘harmful chemical’ had been sprayed over a number of visitors to Dreamland in Margate.

Local residents were warned not to be alarmed by the presence of a large number of emergency vehicles in the area, with staff wearing protective clothing also present.

Organisers say the scenario focussed on a music event at the venue, with a fictitious crowd of around 6,500 people being exposed to a chemical substance.

The drill in Margate was the largest of its kind in Kent since before the pandemic. Credit: Kent Fire & Rescue Service

More than 200 people were involved in the drill, organised by Kent Fire and Rescue Service, including students from nearby colleges playing the roles of injured casualties.

Crew manager Brennan Ralls, from Margate fire station, said: “This exercise is a great opportunity to work together with our partners and colleagues, to ensure we are always prepared to respond to any emergency.”

Speaking before the event, Dreamland's head of operations, Shane Guy, said: “Dreamland is delighted to be working with the emergency services and supporting agencies to deliver real time training for a major incident.

"Our staff and management team, together with our partners, will all benefit from this important exercise.”

Firefighters assisted with the mass decontamination of role-playing casualties. Credit: Kent Fire & Rescue Service

Dave Williams, from South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb), said: “It is vital that we participate in exercises such as this so we can test and learn from our response.

“It provides the perfect opportunity for our teams to work alongside our partner organisations, and, under exercise conditions, experience how each organisation works so that we are ready and prepared to respond in the event of a real incident."

The training exercise lasted for approximately four hours.

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