Hertfordshire clinches key role in one million euros disaster training exercise

A GRANT of nearly one million euros has been awarded to Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service to conduct a large scale urban search and rescue training exercise involving several countries – the first of its kind in the UK. The county s chief fire office

A GRANT of nearly one million euros has been awarded to Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service to conduct a large scale urban search and rescue training exercise involving several countries - the first of its kind in the UK.

The county's chief fire officer, Roy Wilsher, who successfully secured the grant in order to carry out 72-hour Exercise Orion in Portsmouth next summer, said: "I am delighted we have been able to secure funding for what will be a ground-breaking operation.

"It will provide this community and the whole of Europe with vital feedback about how our emergency services work together in response to a large-scale disaster."

Orion is a simulation of a large catastrophe such as the 2004 Asian tsunami or the 2007 Greek forest fires.


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It is designed to test the European Union civil protection mechanism, a system that rallies European countries to respond to a disaster where a country needs additional assistance from other nations.

Search and rescue teams have been invited from the UK, Germany, Denmark, the Republic of Ireland and Italy. Additional observers will be invited from another 40 countries.

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