Major emergency service exercise takes place Chester this evening – road closures in place
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will be leading a dramatic live exercise in Chester City Centre this evening, Monday, May 9.
The exercise is running from 6pm – 11:00pm and is aimed at enabling firefighters and commanders to practice their response to a major fire in Chester’s historic city centre.
Rosie’s nightclub on Northgate Street will be the focus for mock dramatic scenes, but residents are reassured they are only part of an exercise known as Deva Flame.
A number of other agencies and emergency services will be involved including Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire Police, North West Ambulance Service, health partners and utility companies.
The fire service said the exercise will test the multi-agency response to a blaze in a culturally significant building involving a large number of potential casualties.
The scenario will include simulated smoke and volunteer actors playing injured people.
Mark Cashin, Chief Fire Officer of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“The fact that incidents such as this are rare in real life, means it is vitally important that our firefighters and officers have the skills to respond if they ever need to.”
“Chester has some unique and complex operational challenges.”
“This scenario gives us the opportunity to test our plans for dealing with a fire in a heritage building with a complicated layout and integration with the rows and buildings surrounding it.”
“We will also consider how we deal with large numbers of people requiring rescue and practical considerations such as road closures and pumping water from the River Dee if we needed to.”
Councillor Bob Rudd, Member for Chester City Centre and the Garden Quarter, and Chair of the Fire Authority, said:
“It is incredibly important that we properly test emergency incidents. ”
“Exercise Deva Flame provides us with a fantastic opportunity to provide teams with a realistic training scenario.”
“Our aim is to have Council teams trained to the highest possible standards to support our emergency service colleagues in safely and effectively dealing with crisis situations.”
“This sort of exercise really helps us all prepare for major incidents which are thankfully rare. I’m sure it will be a useful learning experience for us all.”
To allow full testing of the scenario, residents and visitors should expect to see several changes in Chester city centre including:
Road closures between 4:30pm and 11pm at:
-St Werburgh Street
-St John Street
Road closures between 6pm and 11pm at:
-Love Street (south bound)
-Grosvenor Park Road
-Little St Johns Street
-Suspension of on street/al fresco dining on Eastgate Street and Northgate Street (between Eastgate and St Werburgh Street).
-A pedestrian cordon around the main area of activity to ensure public safety.
Businesses can remain open to welcome guests on foot and access to those that own parking will be maintained.
Parking in the main area of activity will be exit only for the duration of the exercise.
Cheshire West and Chester Council will work with the Chester business community to find solutions to any additional impacts caused by the exercise.
Those wishing to visit Chester city centre after 4:30pm on Monday 9 May 2022 should park in one of the multi storey cark parks available at Weaver Street, Hamilton Place and Frodsham Street.
The latter two include dedicated spaces for Blue Badge holders.
There is also an allowance for Blue Badge holders to park on yellow lines on streets outside central streets for up to three hours.
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