UDC respond to ‘emergency’ in Dunmow

Volunteers at the emergency response training exercise in Dunmow

Volunteers at the emergency response training exercise in Dunmow - Credit: Archant

Imagine a 500 pound unexploded World War Two bomb being found at Woodlands Park housing estate in Dunmow and 200 homes being evacauted due to the incident.

That’s exactly what staff at Uttlesford District Council (UDC) had to do last week at a emergency response training exercise that was held in the town.

Volunteers from the Red Cross and from other district councils posed as evacuees, while staff from different departments of UDC manned a rest centre as part of their response training on Tuesday, July 19.

The exercise, named Grand Slam, began at 8.45am and ran until 4pm, and other than the timeframe, the council staff had no idea where or what was involved in the scenario.

They received an email in the morning and were informed of the “incident” in Dunmow and had to act quickly to coordinate the council’s response.

Lisa Lipscombe, UDC’s emergency planning officer, said: “We try to make the incident as realistic as possible for the staff. The scenario of an unexploded bomb from the war is something that has happened in real-life in the area before and it’s mainly the job of the staff to keep the evacuees fed, watered and safe during their time in the rest centre.

“We’re lucky in that we don’t have many incidents of this nature, but it is important that we are in the best position that we can be, as a district, to respond to such incidents.”