Large scale multi emergency services exercise in Gravesend

A large scale mass casualty exercise took place on LV21 in Gravesend Reach on 9 February.
The code named ‘Exercise Red Ship’ has been declared one of the largest exercises ever held on the River Thames.

A large noticeable presence of emergency services were in attendance along with seven volunteer actors performing as injured casualties from Casualties Union.

Gravesend RNLI’s Lifeboat Olive Laura Deare II was joined by other emergency services and organisations including London Coastguard, Port of London Authority, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, South East Coast Ambulance Service.

Technical Rescue Unit setting up winch system to extract casualties
RNLI/Ashley Bard
LV21 is a historic, 40 metre steel-hulled lightship which saw most of its service off the Kent coast, retiring from service in 2008 and now transformed into a floating art space and performance facility.
LV21 Director Páivi Seppälä said: “We’re delighted to work together with the emergency services and support one of the largest multi-agency training exercise the River Thames has ever seen along Gravesend riverfront. The safety of our crew, volunteers and visitors is of utmost importance to us, so we welcomed this unique opportunity to observe and learn from the first responders response to a hypothetical major incident aboard the historic lightship LV21.”
RNLI Thames Commander Liam Sidders said: “Some of the role-playing casualties were walking wounded and some were required to be evacuated using special equipment. Injuries sustained included burns, fractures and smoke inhalation.”
“Multi-agency exercises like this are integral for the services to come together and further enhance their own emergency procedures, enabling to work with unfamiliar environments and improve command of control for mass casualty events.”

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