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Presentation to Students Following Largest Outdoor Emergency Exercise in Cleveland

Operation Sandpiper

PCC Barry Coppinger with students from Hartlepool College of Further Education

Students will be presented with certificates to thank them for their assistance with one of the largest outdoor emergency exercises to have ever taken place in Cleveland.

Exercise Sandpiper took place in January this year across Hartlepool and Stockton and on Tuesday 2nd June sixty students from Hartlepool College of Further Education will be awarded with certificates to thank them for taking part.

Alongside the certificates the students will be given a tour of the police firearms Tactical Training Centre at Urlay Nook and they will have inputs from local emergency services about dealing with emergencies. 

The exercise took months of planning by the Local Resilience Forum and agencies such as Cleveland Police, Hartlepool Borough Council, North East Ambulance Service, Cleveland Fire Brigade, NHS England, and British Red Cross were kept in the dark as to the nature of the emergency scenario in order to ensure as real a response as possible.

The first scenario took place at Tesco on Durham Road in Stockton whereby a mock armed robbery had taken place followed by a serious collision with multiple casualties. Students acted as casualties and played their part in making the incident as real as possible for the emergency responders.

A second scenario took place near Wolviston Services in which a vehicle was set alight and a third hostage situation took place in a mock college, known as Sandpiper College, at Hartlepool Marina in which there were multiple casualties. The mock exercise resulted in the arrest of two suspects and one suspect being declared dead.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, is assisting in presenting the certificates at the Tactical Training Centre.

He said: “Inviting the students here today is our way of saying thank you for their involvement on the day of Exercise Sandpiper. Their role was extremely important and the exercise needed them to make it as real as possible for the emergency responders. I hope that they have an enjoyable day.”

Deputy Chief Constable Iain Spittal, said: “We received a lot of support for Exercise Sandpiper, from both the public and private sector. We would not have been able to arrange an exercise of this size without the help we received from the students and volunteers who gave us their time on the day and so it is important that we thank them for their assistance.

“The skills of the emergency services were thoroughly tested on the day and we were able to test out the decisions which would be made in a similar real situation. Thank you and well done to all involved.”


Posted on Tuesday 2nd June 2015
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