Vehicle transporting military material takes fire. Fortunately, it was an army exercise

Autor: Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

A simulated explosion and subsequent fire of a vehicle transporting military material spectacularly kicked off the 'Barracks 2017' exercise at the Lipnik nad Becvou military training area.

Firefighters extinguishing the fire following the explosion
Firefighters extinguishing the fire following the explosion

The exercise serves as a refresher course to review and improve rapid and effective communication and cooperation between military and civilian firefighters and the rescue and medical services.

The fire quickly spread to nearby vehicles which were loaded with ammunition, with the ensuing explosions and fire sweeping through nearby buildings causing a number of injuries to military personnel.

Nine firefighting professional and volunteer units arrived at the scene within minutes to help the military personnel extinguish the fire and take control of the situation, while the civilian medical emergency units treated the 'injured' and transported them to hospital.

The overall emergency response of approximately eighty rescuers was coordinated by the Crisis Management Office from Lipnik nad Becvou using units from the regional Integrated Rescue System.

"The exercise certainly fulfilled its purpose in enhancing skills and techniques, and it will not be the last. Although it is too early for a detailed evaluation of the event, the knowledge gained here will be shared and applied. The firefighters and the Czech Armed Forces will use this knowledge to incorporate into training manuals and future exercises, and I am sure that we will intervene again, but only in a training exercise capacity," said Colonel Miroslav Cocek, Director of the exercise and Head of the Territorial Department of the Integrated Rescue System in Prerov.

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By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

June 9, 2017