The Cathedral will be used for an exercise course by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue to help the crews practice to deal with situations and handle equipment.
Entitled ‘Exercise Lightening’, the Cathedral will host 5 fire trucks, 35 fire fighters and volunteers and Cathedral staff taking part with the exercise to portray a lightning strike and a fire break out at the building. Richard Pullen, Crew manager at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said the choice to hold the exercise at the Cathedral was a good way to grow a relationship to hold further exercises there in the future.
Richard Pullen, who will brief the crew shortly before the exercise takes place, said “The cathedral staff have fantastic procedures in place so the likelihood of a fire at the cathedral is very small”. When asked what difficulties the fire fighters will face, Richard said that the size of the Cathedral would be an issue due to the amount of equipment they have to carry.
Although this is an exercise, the crews will have a risk assessment today and shortly before it takes place tomorrow at 7pm. Exercise Lightening has been in the works for a while, with Mr Pullen saying “I’ve been organising it myself on and off for the last couple of months”, and explained that this is his first time as the organiser “I’ve taken part in them, personally, but I’ve never organised one myself, but there have been other exercises at the Cathedral, for the last 10 or 20 years”.
Mr Pullen also said that the crews will be given little information shortly before it begins, saying “before it commences, they will have a safety briefing at 7 o’clock at Lincoln North Fire Station, a very basic synopsis of what the incident is and our control room will turn them out accordingly and will give them a limited amount of information and the crews will turn up and have to take it as it is”.
“we’ve been having meetings with on site staff and my colleagues so on the day, we will set it up in the afternoon so that we are all ready for a 7:30pm start when fire engines will begin turning out”.
Crews from around the county attend particular buildings throughout the year which helps them familiarise themselves with the complexity of buildings, the Cathedral being one of few in Lincoln that is regularly used to help the crews.