WATCH: Calderdale’s emergency flood response put to the test

Boxing day flood in Hebden Bridge. Albert Street and New Road under water.
Boxing day flood in Hebden Bridge. Albert Street and New Road under water.

A huge live training exercise was held across Calderdale this morning (Friday).

Operation Calderdale16 tested the emergency response of Calderdale Council, the emergency services and partners to a major flooding incident and included a live search and rescue.

Taking part were a range of council services, together with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, West Yorkshire Police, the Environment Agency, the Canal and River Trust, Yorkshire Water, Calder Valley Search and Rescue, Northern Powergrid, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Together Housing.

Councillor Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s leader, said: “It’s vital for the council and all our partners to be prepared for any major incident which might occur and this exercise will help us rehearse our response and help identify if we need to make any further changes to our practices.

“I was extremely proud of the way our communities, partners and Council services worked together on the recovery after the Boxing Day floods.

“We learned a lot and now want to put this to the test to make sure that our, and our partners’ responses, are as effective as possible.”

To test preparedness, the exact details of Operation Calderdale16 were not fully disclosed to ensure all involved dealt with the exercise as if it was a real-life incident.

As part of the exercise the flood sirens were tested and the community hubs were opened in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Sowerby Bridge, Elland and Brighouse.

Teams also used the opportunity to test the council’s new radio network, which should improve communication around during any emergency incident.