West Midlands Ambulance Service going into the smoke-filled tower
Forensic Investigation and Disaster Management students were also involved in the exercise, receiving first-hand insight into how emergency services deal with a major incident and conduct subsequent investigations.
They were able to watch what was happening at the scene on the centre’s curved 10m projection screen to fully immerse themselves in the scenario and hone their command and decision-making skills.
Chris Hiley, course director of the university's Forensic Investigations degree, said:
This has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to get a real life experience of what it's like to work with the emergency services during a major incident.
As well as witnessing the blue-light services in action close-up they have actively been working with and assisting them during this exercise. It's an incredible insight for them and great preparation for their future careers as investigators, paramedics, and emergency services workers.
Their learning experience hasn't stopped at the end of the day either. They will be analysing what happened during the exercise and getting even more out of it for weeks to come.
West Midlands Fire Service Station Commander Samantha Lewis said:
We stage two large-scale exercises a week in the West Midlands. They help our firefighters and incident commanders to perfect the skills they would use at real incidents, in a testing but safe learning environment.
On this occasion, being able to use the university’s simulation centre added a challenging, extra dimension to the day for our commanders.
We’re extremely grateful to everyone involved, throughout the planning stages and during the exercise itself.