Straw Fox exercise tests regional response

Expert fire crews from across the region joined forces today to test their skills at a firefighting exercise.

Nearly 50 operational staff from four fire and rescue services took part in Exercise Straw Fox in Abbots Ripton, Huntingdonshire, this morning (April 27).

Specialist vehicles from Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Norfolk descended upon the site of the Secret Garden Party for the exercise, which utilised each of the fire and rescue service’s respective national assets.

The scenario was a fire at a large manor house in the grounds and saw 6km of hose laid around the site and machinery set up to pump water from the on-site lakes.

Exercise organiser Watch Commander Ian Smith, part of Cambridgeshire’s resilience team, said: “Exercise Straw Fox was a resilience training opportunity in the East to test our regional working and best practise using national assets, like the hose layer and high volume pump that we have here in Cambridgeshire.

“These exercises take a great deal of planning and are very important as not only do they give us the chance to hone our skills in unfamiliar territory but also days like this enable us to foster our relationships with those in neighbouring fire services. We would like to thank the land owner for allowing us to use this huge space, and also our partner agencies for facilitating the event.”