Planning for a major emergency in district

Pictured at the Southern Regional College which in partnership with Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon  Borough Council Emergency Planning Officer Eugene Cunningham,  PSNI, NIFRS, NIAS and Voluntary Emergency Services, conducted an assignment task with the 2nd Year Public Service Students �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1611-265EB
Pictured at the Southern Regional College which in partnership with Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council Emergency Planning Officer Eugene Cunningham, PSNI, NIFRS, NIAS and Voluntary Emergency Services, conducted an assignment task with the 2nd Year Public Service Students �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1611-265EB

Emergency Services have attended the Banbridge campus of the Southern Regional College however not for an emergency incident but rather a training exercise for students studying the BTEC National Diploma in Public Services.

The students had opportunity to work through an emergency senario, guided by various agencies involved in major incident control.

Course lecturer, Liz Hudson said: “The students really engaged with the emergency services. They were brilliant and it was a great learning opportunity.

“The students came away really energised and it makes a big difference to them.”

Liz tries, whenever possible, to arrange the exercise each year. She explained: “It’s part of an assignment paper the students go on do afterwards and last year when we couldn’t arrange it, there was a noticeable drop in the quality of the assignments.”

This year the 30 second year students had to work through a table-top exercise based on a flooding scenario, taking decisions for the best response to the situation and continuing management of it as it developed.

“It was great for the students as they were able to intermingle with the emergency services who listened to their ideas and prompted them,” said Liz. “The students were able to learn directly from them how to respond.”

Indebted to those who came on the day to work with the students, Liz continued: “The emergency services all came along and gave of their time out of their very busy schedules.

“Some of them had travelled quite a distance as it was a cross boarder effort and they were all very enthusiastic and amazing.”

“The course is aimed at young people who want to join public services be that the armed forces, blue light services, HM Revenue and Customs, the Coast Guard or the Prison Services.

“A lot of our students go on to take degrees in Law and Criminology,” she said.

“Many of our past students have gone into areas such as the UK armed forces and we’re very excited about one who went on to work with the FBI.”