Police, fire crews and the York Rescue Boat were on and around the River Ouse in York for several hours last night (Friday).
They were taking part in a major training exercise to improve search and rescue on the water.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, North Yorkshire Police, the York Water Safety Group and York Rescue Boat took part in the exercise.
They were testing their communications, their systems of working together, and some of the rescue equipment including drones with thermal imaging.
Michael Jamieson, Watch Manager at York Fire Station said: “Tonight’s exercise was predominantly about creating a more collaborative and professional structured way to work more closely with our volunteer groups, which are highly professional, and very well equipped.
“We wanted to have a more blended approach to how we start to search rivers for casualties and other emergencies.”
PC Scaith, from the North Yorkshire Police Operational Support Unit, said he was testing a drone with thermal imaging capabilites.
“Tonight, I’ve had the drone up over the river working with the the other teams looking for for persons in the river and by the banks. We’ve had some success with it.
“Also, it’s been a good learning learning curve for us. We had a little bit of a technical issue connecting the stream to the control room. But that’s what this exercise is all about, it gives us an opportunity to learn how to work better in the future. “
Dave Horn, Senior Operations Manager at York Rescue Boat, said: “This exercise is to enable us to practice our interoperability, our radio communications, and to see how the drone works when we’re looking for casualties in the water so we can respond better and more effectively.
“We’ve ended up with a lot of good learning from it.
“We’re looking forward to moving forward with some further exercises to ensure that we make York as safe as we possibly can.”
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