Fire service to stage largest excercise in its history


GRAMPIAN Fire and Rescue Service will stage the biggest multi-agency exercise that’s ever taken place in the north-east in Aberdeen city centre on Wednesday evening.

Exercise “Bon Accord” will see twelve fire engines, including a ladder platform, two support units and a command unit take part.

More than 80 people from the service will work with emergency service partners from Grampian Police, NHS Grampian and Scottish Ambulance Service in the exercise which will take place in St Nicholas House in the city centre.

The exercise will involve full-time fire crews from the city, as well as Retained  crews from Cullen, Banchory, Kintore, Inverurie and Dyce.

The Service’s Major Incident Room will be staffed by a range of command officers.

The exercise is planned to test how Grampian Fire and Rescue Service deals with a major city centre incident, how it’s Control Room copes with the additional demands, and how its incident command protocols work when put into practice.

This is the first time that such a large-scale exercise has taken place in the city and is one of the largest “live” exercises to have taken place in Scotland.


Volunteers from the Scottish Red Cross will be acting as casualties to bring even more realism to the event.

Chief Fire Officer David Dalziel said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to put our planning for major incidents into practice. This exercise has been designed to be a real test of abilities at all levels of the organisation, from our senior command managers all the way to our firefighters on the ground.

“The cooperation that we’ve received from Aberdeen City Council, Grampian Police, Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS Grampian and all the other groups who will play a part has been second to none. We have a real chance to scrutinise what our performance will be like in a major public safety incident in the city centre.”

Area Commander David Rout, Head of Operations for Grampian Fire and Rescue Service continued: “Planning for the exercise has been a lot of work on two fronts.

“On one hand, we’ve made sure that the incident scenario is realistic and will pose a real challenge to everybody involved. We’ve got a few twists to throw into the mix while it’s taking place that should further test our peoples’ abilities under pressure. We’ve made sure that we involve some of our Retained crews from outside the city as they may have a part to play in a real incident, so it’s about giving as many people as possible exposure to this unique training event.

“On the other hand, the work that’s gone into using St Nicholas House, closing Broad Street, making sure that there is fire cover in place to deal with any real emergency that might happen while the exercise is running, working with our emergency services partners, and the logistics of all this coming together has been as challenging as the exercise itself. No matter where folk are in the north-east they can be sure that this exercise hasn’t reduced the level of service we give every day of the year.”


The exercise will take place on Broad Street and at St Nicholas House between 6pm and midnight on Wednesday, March 28.