Testing Calderdale’s emergency response

The emergency response of Calderdale Council and other organisations was put to the test today (Friday 14 October) in a training exercise across Calderdale that involved a planned canal boat rescue and floodwater pump out.

The council held its biggest ever live training exercise to rehearse the action that would be taken in response to a major flooding incident.

Operation Calderdale16 involved a range of Council services and partner organisations including Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, West Yorkshire Police, the Environment Agency and the Canal & River Trust.

Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:

“The Council and our partner organisations have been working hard since the Boxing Day 2015 floods to ensure that our response is as effective as possible if Calderdale floods again. This work was put to the test today, and it was pleasing to see such a thorough, coordinated team effort from all of the services involved.


“It’s really important for us to keep learning and reassuring local people that we’re doing all we can to be prepared for any future incidents. We will be doing a detailed evaluation of the training exercise to identify any changes that we need to make to our procedures.”

The training exercise scenarios included:

  • A rescue boat and fire engine rescuing people stranded on the canal in Sowerby Bridge.
  • A pump out of floodwater in a cellar in Todmorden.
  • A test of all eight flood sirens in Calderdale.
  • Community hubs operating across Calderdale to test their preparedness and raise awareness of the support they can offer during a flood.
  • Flood wardens out and about across the borough.
  • Sandbags placed around Burnley Road Academy in Mytholmroyd and on the highway in Hebden Bridge.
  • A gully wagon in Elland.
  • A test of the Council’s new radio network, which aims to improve communication around the affected area during any incident.

The next step is to conduct a full debrief and review of the training exercise to ensure that the Council and other organisations keep improving their readiness to respond.

See the Council’s video(external link)of the training exercise in action, visit link) for more information and search for the hashtag #OperationCdale16 on Twitter for photos and updates.

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