A horse and rider were ‘rescued’ from Stanwick Lakes yesterday as part of a training exercise.
The scenario was just one of several staged events taking place throughout the day as part of a training exercise led by Northamptonshire County Council’s Emergency Planning team and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Exercise Patron also involved Northants 4x4 Response, Northants Search and Rescue, Northampton Emergency Aid Team, British Red Cross, the RSPCA and the Maritime Volunteer Service.
The day also involved the Northamptonshire Police Specials, East Midlands Ambulance Service and the local Army Cadets.
The exercise was built around the scenario of a distressed dog walker ringing the emergency services to say that a horse rider had been thrown from their horse at Stanwick Lakes.
The rider is a well-known celebrity who, despite being injured, does not want to leave the horse, but the horse is partially stuck in the mud and worn out from the ordeal.
The RSPCA was also called out to assist Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue teams in saving the animal (represented by a mannequin).
Teams also worked to rescue live casualties (supplied by Spartan rescue team) from the water at Stanwick Lakes.
The scenario was that a man had fallen from the old A6 bridge on his way home after a night out.
The casualty then had to be found by means of a search operation on the bankside and in water.
Fire Service Manager Warren Ellison said: “Exercise Patron was a brilliant opportunity for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service to work closely with other agencies in order to rehearse our response to a real life flooding incident.
“We worked with Northamptonshire County Council’s emergency planning team for several months to set this up and I would like to say thank you to all the teams involved for their hard work.
“I am also very grateful to the volunteers who agreed to take part and play different roles during the staged rescue operations.”
A similar training exercise took place at Daventry Country Park yesterday.
The first saw the rescue of stranded festival-goers from areas of the park.
These ‘casualties’ were played by volunteers, including Daventry’s mayor Wendy Randall.
All those playing injured people were then transferred to reception centres at Danetre Hospital and Daventry Community Centre.
Anyone who would like to find out more about volunteering for an emergency response organisation in the future can visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/emergencies