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Exercise Battered Bridge

One day we’re in The Cheviots guiding lost walkers off the hill, next day we are on the banks of the River Tyne working with Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service on a joint exercise.

The joint exercise involved in water and bankside searching for five contractors who had gone missing when the scaffolding on the railway bridge they were working on collapsed.

Both services co-located at Warden and established a shared incident command. Mountain Rescue water first responder teams and Fire & Rescue Swiftwater Rescue Technician teams were swiftly (pardon the pun!) deployed.

The five contractors were all located in under an hour and a half, and evacuated by stretcher, boat and 4×4 vehicle to awaiting ambulances.

Valuable training with many lessons learnt.


Incident control established on the banks of the River Tyne in Hexham.
A multi-agency response in Hexham.
Almost time to head home… But first the hot debrief in Hexham.