Training exercise with the simulation of high-rise building flat fire in Harrogate was a success

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue undertook a high-rise rescue training exercise on Sunday, 15 August 2021.

It took place at Park Place in Harrogate, a 12-storey block of 48 flats, that face onto the Stray, towards Christchurch.

The scenario was a fire had taken hold in a flat on the 9th floor. The flats are relatively modern flats and have a “stay put” policy for fires.

The exercise was about ensuring that the fire service could respond in the right way to the rare event of a fire in a tall building.

Park Place, Harrogate
Park Place, Harrogate

In the simulation, the call to the control room came in at 10am, with 3 units and the aerial ladder platform initially mobilised, with a over 8 units then a further mobilised from surrounding stations.

Dave Winspear, Head of Prevention and Protection at North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said:

The exercise is about testing our procedures for high-rise residential buildings and how we can manage an incident where a fire has taken hold in a particular flat.

It’s an exercise to ensure we utilise our resources in the right way, including some of our specialist resources, such as the aerial ladder platform.

Setting up the ALP and taking equipment to the Forward Command Point on floor 7


Dave Winspear, Head of Prevention and Protection at North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said:

A call would have come into our control centre, and they would have asked a number of relevant questions.

From there they would make an initial mobilisation, and as this is a high-rise building, that would be 3 fire engines and the aerial ladder platform.

So very quickly we would send a number of resources. On arrival, the person in charge would make contact with the responsible person, and go about fact finding so a tactical plan can be formed. That’s knowing we have the right resources, right equipment, a proper plan and people know what they are doing.

This excerise allows us to test our proecdures in to how well we can respond to a fire in a high-rise building.

The simulated fire was on floor 9 and a Bridge Head or Forward Command Point was set up on floor 7. That was the floor where firefighters were deployed to specific points within the building.

Dave Winspear from NYFRS talking about the exercise

The Forward Command Point in 16x speed



Deployed to the roof from floor 7, setting up a water supply and checking the roof for flat residents.

On the roof, using the ALP to take casualties from the building

Floor 9, Breathing Apparatus Crew awaiting entry to the flat on fire


The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner also observed the exercise.

Phillip Allot, The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said:

Today’s exercise is about high-rise buildings, and we have 26 of those within the county. The exercise is about making sure we can rescue people safely.

We have had 8 fire engines plus the aerial ladder platform, along with the mobile command unit – it tested the resilience of North Yorkshire.

Post-Grenfall every fire service is questioning if it can rescue people from tall buildings, but we can give further reassurance to the public in how it has gone today.

A lot of time and effort and planning has gone into today, and I would like to thank them.

The public is in safe hands and we will do what is needed to keep you safe.

Philip Allot, Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, talking about the exercise


Phillip Allot, The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
Phillip Allot, The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, thanks the officers for their work

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