Lincoln firefighters are preparing for a lightning based exercise at the cathedral.
The exercise labelled “Exercise Lightning”, will be held on Wednesday 21st November between 7pm and 9pm with the aim of training firefighters on how to tackle a blaze in the cathedral.
The scenario is that Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue have responded to a call about lightning hitting the roof of the cathedral which has triggered a blaze.
A number of volunteers and cathedral staff will be on site to assist the firefighters during the exercise in any way they can.
Residents living near the cathedral have been warned not to worry if they see smoke rising from the cathedral roof as 5 fire trucks and 35 firefighters rush to the scene.
Lincoln Cathedral was the tallest building in the world for 238 years (1311 – 1548) and the first building to hold that title after the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The Cathedral was built in a gothic style throughout several phases of the Middle Ages.
The firefighters will go to Lincoln North Fire Station at 7pm for a safety briefing by Richard Pullen, Crew Manager at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and organiser of the exercise, who will give a brief outline of the scenario and any safety issues that may arise.
The briefing will be 30 minutes long with the exercise starting at 7:30pm.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue has an exercise programme that documents different scenarios at several locations around the county, with the aim to train firefighters to be ready for any situation.
Beforehand, each firefighter will need to understand the various health and safety risks and undergo a risk assessment to keep themselves and everybody else safe.
Richard Pullen said: “If we ever had a situation at the cathedral, staff members and ourselves would need to know what to do.”
“One of the main difficulties will be the size of the cathedral and the complexity of the building, this exercise will help the crew familiarise themselves with it all.”
“We’ve been having meetings with onsite staff and my colleagues, so on the day, we’ll set it up in the afternoon so that we are all ready for a 7:30pm start when fire engines will be turning up.”
The unique nature of Lincoln Cathedral, such as little rooms and the length of the building, will make this exercise hard for firefighters to carry equipment and get to the blaze.
These exercises also help build good relationships with properties such as the cathedral, who have let Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue train there before.
Fire exercises have been held at Lincoln Cathedral for the past 10 years, giving firefighters constant practice and training to make sure they are prepared for any situation.