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Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is set to conduct a large-scale training exercise at Lea Marston Lakes in North Warwickshire to test the Service’s ability to tackle a reservoir breach.

The training exercise is codenamed Exercise Olympian and will extend over three days from Wednesday 21 April to Friday 23 April.

In the scenario, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service attends a potential breach of the reservoir at Lea Marston Lakes after a period of prolonged wet weather. The Service will work on the premise that, if a breach occurs, then critical infrastructure within the area may be affected.  

During the initial deployment at the scenario on Wednesday 21 April, it will become apparent that one High Volume Pump unit will not be sufficient and so a request will be made for further High Volume Pumps to be deployed. 

These extra units will be deployed on Thursday 22 April from a Strategic Holding Area at Kingsbury Water Park, Bodymoor Heath Lane, Sutton Coldfield. The Strategic Holding Area will accommodate the command and logistical support structures of all agencies required to tackle the major incident.

The extra units will allow the reservoir to be drawn down to a manageable level, removing the risk of the water overtopping and impacting on the surrounding risks.

It is expected that the exercise will involve over 100 people and six High Volume Pumps in total.

John Wilson, Station Manager for Stratford & Alcester District, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Exercise Olympian is a great opportunity to realistically test our response to an evolving incident. High Volume pumps are a nationally provided resource and respond to major incidents up and down the country. Supported by our colleagues from around the midlands and the national capability team, I hope everyone’s take-away will be a better understanding of the benefits of our high volume pumping assets.”

“This learning will not only be applicable to reservoir breaches but also to many different types of flooding that are encountered and will enable us to work with partners to better safeguard lives and property in such events in the future.”

The Service is looking to test its procedures, mobilisation, and deployment via National Resilience Fire Control. All parts of the exercise will be conducted in accordance with current Covid-19 guidelines and members of the public should not be alarmed if they see a large emergency services presence in the area.

Published: 20th April 2021