Exercise Unified Response
Between 29 Feb and 3 Mar 2016 emergency responders from London and further afar are taking part in one of the biggest exercises ever conducted in Europe. Reveal body cameras are being tested and used as part of the operation.
More than 4,000 people and 70 agencies are taking part in the operation, which is taking place at a disused power station near Dartford, and is simulating a building collapse near London Waterloo.
Emergency responders from the police, ambulance, local authorities and Transport for London are practicing a co-ordinated response.
To create the most realistic environment possible, an entire tube station has been recreated and then "crushed" in a disused power station. There are more than 1,000 casualties, thousands of tonnes of rubble, seven tube carriages and hundreds of emergency service responders.Organisers say the exercise provides a realistic training environment for specialist Urban Search and Rescue teams from all over the country.
The huge scale of the incident also gives a chance for specialist teams from the police and ambulance service plus local authorities to practise skills and functions that are rarely used. London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson, said: "Exercises of this scale are important to ensure that we are always ready to respond no matter what happens.
"You can't get this sort of experience from a text book, we need to play it like it's real and ensure that should the worst happen, our response is effective and well coordinated.
"Although this scenario is not a terrorist attack, we will be practising procedures and systems that are common to any emergency that results in a large number of fatalities and injuries. For example, hundreds of people left the 7/7 London bombings without physical injury, but found themselves struggling psychologically in the years that followed.
"In this scenario police and local authorities will set up a Humanitarian Assistance Centre which offers information and support.
"The exercise will also be rigorously observed by independent evaluators and any lessons learned will be used to improve the way in which we respond to future emergency incidents."