ABP Multi-Port Exercise in Emergency Preparedness - ‘Double Trouble’
Port operations are of strategic importance to the regions of East Riding of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire as well as local commerce, with a vast amount of cargo passing through the ports of Hull and Immingham on a frequent basis. Recognising the importance of incident management and response, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS), DFDS, Associated British Ports (ABP) and HFR Solutions CIC were involved in a coordinated multi-agency emergency preparedness exercise called ‘Double Trouble’ during late September.
The remit was to ensure that a credible, realistic incident was simulated at both of the ABP Port sites in Hull and Immingham, with the main objective of testing ABP’s existing emergency plans and whether the incident could be handled by allocated resources provided by HFRS and ABP. In-order for both exercises to be staged, various logistical issues needed resolving such as road access, so the impact on the general public would be minimal.
Scenario – Hull Site:
A road tanker carrying Bromine has leaked from around the flange area, resulting in a large pool of chemical surrounding the tanker. In an attempt to stem the leak, the driver has become intoxicated by fumes and collapsed in the escaping fluid. An ABP employee has raised the alarm and remains on scene to render assistance; ABP has implemented their action plan.
Scenario – Immingham Site:
A small to medium-sized fire has broken out on the conveyor belt due to a build-up of oil, grease and loose product. An employee attempted to fight the fire, but was overcome by fumes and didn’t return to safety. Two further employees were trapped by smoke and are located on the upper level of a tower. The upper levels and access doors of the tower can be reached for search and rescue and locating the casualty.
Hull & Immingham exercise summary
ABP staff initiated their own emergency procedures, alerting their site control room and requesting the attendance of HFRS on Number 999 using the correct protocol, then (HFRS) Control Room staff passed the incident details to Fire and Rescue Service Stations as appropriate. HFRS appliances arrived and assumed ownership of the incident.
The aims included:
- Review ABP’s existing emergency plans and procedures
- Practice inter-agency approach to handling incidents (incident handover from ABP and HFRS response)
- Test command and control of the incident
- Formulation of rescue plans and casualty rescue
- Identification of shortfalls in any practices and procedures whilst dealing with an incident of this magnitude and severity
- To discuss findings of the assessment team and outcomes of the observation reports.
For response and management of incidents of this nature including:
- To raise any concerns which identified any safety critical issues and gaps in existing procedures and policies relating to incidents of this nature
- Participants to confirm whether the procedures and resources at their disposal were sufficient or whether additional resources were required
- Exercise organisers highlighted which exercise objectives were achieved and ones not achieved
- To address any findings of the Exercise Planning Committee as well as employees
- Identify any development and training needs for any participant
- Agree a strategy of sharing and learning with the emergency services and UK Ports
Exercise observation & debrief
Both exercises were staged and simultaneously observed to ensure they met the agreed aims and objectives.
The exercise met its aims and objectives, identifying important opportunities for future improvements from further employees requiring training in emergency planning and incident command, as well as ensuring best utilisation of Emergency and Business Continuity Plans and an appropriate response with positive outcomes achieved.
Rix Petroleum Ltd tasks HFR Solutions CIC with delivering their emergency response plans
HFR Solutions CIC was recently approached by leading brand Rix Petroleum Ltd, the largest family owned fuel distributor in the UK, supplying home heating oil, farm fuels, hauliers, commercial and industrial users and retail sites, to provide a comprehensive and independent review of their existing Emergency Response Plans and Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP). This would help to identify gaps based upon credible scenarios relevant to their operations and to the risk profile of their business.
The emergency response service provision supplied to Rix Petroleum Ltd included:
- Review of existing Emergency Response Plan (ERP) and Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP)
- A series of six Scenario Intervention Plans
- Emergency Response Training
- Fire Marshal Training (including Fire Extinguisher Training)
As part of the overall process and to increase competency levels of Rix Petroleum Ltd staff, HFR Solutions CIC also delivered some realistic emergency response and incident command training.
Emergency response plans
Like many COMAH sites, Rix Petroleum Ltd understands the critical importance of keeping their company’s Emergency Response Plans and Major Accident Prevention Policy constantly updated. These were comprehensively reviewed and amended to ensure all documentation was updated, accessible and the information would be easy to use in the event of an emergency.
Six Scenario Intervention Plans were produced, each focused on a credible scenario within an identified area of hazard and risk. One side of the A3 plan provides visual information on the specific area, identifying key items and on the other side a full colour plan, including details of responses required by the following personnel:
- First Responders
- Second Responders
- Third Responders
Bespoke training exercises were delivered as part of the package to ensure that personnel understand what their role will be in the event of an emergency, utilising the credible on-site scenarios already identified. These were aimed at personnel who undertake a specific role during an incident i.e. Directors, Depot Managers, HSE Staff, Fire Marshals and their deputies.
This training covered:
- Human Factors – Why incidents occur
- Incident Management – What can assist in commanding and controlling an incident
- Incident Command Systems
- Organisational Response
- Decision Making
- Communication, Handing Over, Briefing and Debriefing
- Site Specific Information
- Emergency Plans
- Major Accident Prevention Policy (MAPP)
- Liaison and Engagement
- Incident Room Requirements
- Status Boards
- Site Plans
This training also consisted of delivering practical scenarios, which were designed to test the company’s emergency plans and utilised role plays to add realism and urgency.
Tony Harvey, Emergency Response Lead Instructor, commented: “All personnel who took part in the training were enthusiastic, fully engaged and committed to improving their emergency response capabilities. The recommendations that came out of the training and consultation process were well received and acted upon by the Rix management team.”
Each training exercise lasted between 40 and 60 minutes and the response plans and MAPP were utilised during the training. Several learnings were identified and captured by delegates which were then discussed during debrief sessions that followed each exercise. Multi-media clips of the exercises were provided to Rix Petroleum Ltd and will form part of regular future drills, imbedding the emergency response plans into drills, recorded on a competency framework which will allow Rix Petroleum Ltd to ensure that personnel maintain a degree of competence in the area of emergency response.
During the coming months, we will update you on two new exciting initiatives which will enhance the services we can offer your organisation:
HFR Solutions CIC Confined Space Training Goes Mobile – we will soon be able to deliver on-site confined space training at your premises, via our new mobile confined space training units.
Expansion of our Working at Height training infrastructure – we shall shortly be opening up a disused 45 metre analogue aerial communications mast for working at height training.
Watch this space for further details on both projects!!!!!!