Lingfield Point business park has answered a 999 call for help from the local fire service!

Firefighters need locations to train for all kinds of possible disasters and have used Lingfield Point as a setting for mock incidents several times over the years.

On this occasion the firefighters wanted to practise their procedures and skills in the dark, gloomy and somewhat claustrophobic constraints of a tunnel.

And Lingfield Point was able to offer just the thing – in the form of its service tunnel – which carries cabling, a gas main and cold water main.

Twelve firefighters from Darlington and Newton Aycliffe Stations took part in the exercise wearing breathing apparatus and carrying a ‘casualties’ to safety through the tunnel.

Watch Manager Glen Stewart from Darlington Red Watch Fire explained: “The scenario involved a team of three carrying out maintenance work on the pipes in the tunnel, when there was a structural collapse injuring/trapping the staff.

“We had lost contact and the alarm was activated on the gas monitor they had with them so we believed the area may be oxygen deficient.

“To deal with the situation teams wearing breathing apparatus were sent into the tunnels to rescue the missing team members.”

WM Glen Stewart said the exercise was to test command and control, incident command, communications equipment and operating procedures for BA.

Eddie Humphries, Lingfield Point’s estate manager, said: “We are always happy to help the emergency services whenever we are able.

“Over the years we have allowed the Fire Service to carry out various training exercises which don’t impact on our customers.

“Our customers are always curious to know what’s going on and of course we let them know in advance that it is an exercise.

“We hope there is never a real emergency at Lingfield Point but if there was we’d be happy to be in the hands of these teams – especially if the outcome was as positive as it was during the exercise.”