A three-hour London fire safety training exercise at Hillingdon Hospital has been a great success, highlighting the need for excellent communication and diligence in the event that a real fire should break out.
Hospital staff and volunteers were joined by firefighters from London Fire Brigade earlier this month to perform Exercise Phoenix – a role play test of fire preparedness that saw two wards on the eighth floor of the building evacuated when a fire broke in a linen cupboard.
To ensure that the wards could continue to function as normal, willing volunteers played the parts of patients, some of whom had to be transported on ski pad evacuation devices, which could be slid down stairs without injuring bedbound patients.
Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s fire safety adviser said: “The exercise was an opportunity to test our evacuation procedures, communication within our command structure and the communication between staff, and how we pass information on to other stakeholders.”
He went on to say that the volunteers showed enthusiasm and diligence, working hard to make the event as realistic – and therefore as valuable – as possible. Following the training session, participants were asked to fill out a debriefing form and provide instant feedback to organisers, which the trust will use to improve emergency planning.
The exercise was documented on film and is available to watch here. It is just one of several live emergency fire safety training exercises run each year at the hospital to ensure preparedness in the event of a real emergency.