Calderdale’s flood response to be tested in second major exercise

Press release from Calderdale Council

Calderdale Council will hold its second major training exercise, ‘Operation Calderdale17’ on Friday 20 October to rehearse the action that would be taken during and after a flood.

This follows last year’s successful exercise which took place across Calderdale, and will build on the lessons learned. It will test the emergency response of the Council, emergency services and partner organisations to a major flooding incident, including a live search and rescue operation.

This year there will also be a recovery exercise to strengthen logistics and communication processes following the hypothetical flood event.

Teams taking part include a range of Council services, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, West Yorkshire Police, the Environment Agency, Calder Valley Search and Rescue and other organisations.

Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:

“It’s vital to be as prepared as possible for any major incident, and to reassure local people that the Council and other organisations are ready to respond. We learned a lot from last year’s exercise, and we were keen that it wouldn’t be a one-off – we want to keep learning and improving our ability to deal with incidents like flooding.”

The exact details of the training exercise have not been disclosed, as the idea is to test preparedness and for teams to deal with the scenarios in the moment.

The flood sirens will be tested and the community hubs will be opened in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Sowerby Bridge, Elland and Brighouse. Each siren test will last for two minutes and loud hailer vehicles will be used to alert people to the tests ahead of the sirens being sounded.

Teams will also use the opportunity to test the Council’s emergency communication systems and ensure that messages can be shared effectively during an incident.

On-the-day updates can be found on Calderdale Council’s social media accounts by liking their Facebook page, following them on Twitter @Calderdale and using the hashtag #OperationCdale17.