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Emergency services practice dealing with disaster

PUBLISHED: 12:55 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:55 15 March 2018

Volunteers at St John Ambulance’s Lowestoft unit take part in Exercise March Hare.PICTURE: Mick Howles

Volunteers at St John Ambulance's Lowestoft unit take part in Exercise March Hare.PICTURE: Mick Howles

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Volunteers from St John Ambulance's alongside emergency services tested their readiness for disaster on the Lowestoft sea front.

Exercise March Hare took place on Saturday at Lowestoft's sea front. PICTURE: Mick HowlesExercise March Hare took place on Saturday at Lowestoft's sea front. PICTURE: Mick Howles

Around 60 people from the first aid charity, Suffolk Constabulary, HM Coastguard and Suffolk Fire and Rescue took part in the exercise, Exercise March Hare, on Saturday, March 10.

The teams had to deal with a pretend incident at the finish line of a bicycle race with crowd members injured after falling from the esplanade, including one hidden fatality, a life-sized, human-weight dummy.

Injuries that the teams were forced to deal with included fractures and broken limbs to head and spinal injuries, allowing a full range of conditions they might be faced with in a real world scenario.

One paramedic from the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, who also volunteers for St John Ambulance, took up the position of Silver Commander.

Around 60 people from St Johns Ambulance, Suffolk Constabulary, HM Coastguards and Suffolk Fire and Rescue took part. PICTURE: Mick HowlesAround 60 people from St Johns Ambulance, Suffolk Constabulary, HM Coastguards and Suffolk Fire and Rescue took part. PICTURE: Mick Howles

That role involved co-ordinating the operation including triage, prioritisation of patients, and their eventual removal from the scene of the incident.

Tony Curd, St John Ambulance’s District Manager in Suffolk, said: “Exercise March Hare was a great success and enabled everyone to test their communication and clinical skills.

“I’d like to thank all the participants from the various agencies and also our volunteers, a number of whom played the part of casualties in what turned out to be particularly cold and unpleasant weather conditions.

He added: “I pass on my thanks to my colleague Anne Willis and the team from the local volunteer unit who devised the scenario and worked on all the preparations.

Volunteers take part in Exercise March Hare.PICTURE: Mick HowlesVolunteers take part in Exercise March Hare.PICTURE: Mick Howles

“We hope to run another inter-agency exercise in due course as everyone benefits from practising their skills in difficult scenarios such as this one.”

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