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Multi-agency flood resilience exercise hailed a success

Published 11 October 2019
Multi-agency flood resilience exercise hailed a success

A two-day field exercise to test flood resilience plans in Salisbury has been hailed a success.

Involving the Environment Agency, 1st Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, based in Salisbury , Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Wiltshire Council and Flood Wardens from Salisbury City Council, the exercise aimed to test the effectiveness of the multi-agency flood plan for the city. In addition, it provided a field-based training opportunity for multi-agency staff and enabled close working relationships with the flood wardens to be strengthened.

The exercise at the Ashley Road recreation ground involved testing the deployment of the temporary flood defences and pumping equipment which could be required during times of flood, before the winter flood season arrives.

Guy Parker of the Environment Agency said: "Exercise Touchpaper set out to test the ability of the Environment Agency and its partner agencies including Wiltshire Council, The Army, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue and Salisbury City Council. Working together the teams brought 350 metres of temporary defences from Bridgwater to Salisbury and successfully erected them within four hours. We also demonstrated that Environment Agency and Fire Service high volume pumps can be used side by side. The exercise demonstrated that emergency responders can work together effectively during floods, helping to reduce the impact of flooding in Salisbury and across Wessex."

Cllr Pauline Church, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for South Wiltshire Recovery, said: "This valuable training exercise forms part of our resilience agenda to ensure all the relevant agencies can effectively respond to any flooding challenges. It means we are in a better position to protect Salisbury and its residents from incidents of flooding."

Cllr Jonathon Seed, Portfolio Holder for Flooding, Wiltshire Council, added: "Climate change is a major issue and it significantly impacts our local communities during periods of extreme weather such as flooding. It is important the council considers every opportunity to reduce this risk, whether this is through regular training exercises or working with the Environment Agency and other key stakeholders to deliver flood risk mitigation interventions to ensure Salisbury is protected against flooding. This forward thinking is essential for the long-term future of Salisbury and the rest of Wiltshire."

Cllr John Farquhar, Deputy Flood Coordinator for Salisbury, commented: "The exercise was a good opportunity for local Salisbury Flood Wardens to work with other partners in the City and ensure they are well prepared should flooding occur. We are always keen to have more Flood Wardens and if you would like to volunteer for this important role, please contact the City Council."

This valuable training exercise forms part of our resilience agenda to ensure all the relevant agencies can effectively respond to any flooding challenges

Published 11 October 2019
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