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Successful major incident training day at Mowi fish feed plant. Representatives from Fire Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service, the Marine Coastguard Agency, Police Scotland and the Highland Council all participated in a major incident training day at Kyleakin, organised by Mowi Scotland on Saturday 26th January.

The assembled team worked through two scenarios, specifically selected as incidents which could occur at the site when it opens later this year.

The first scenario saw a volunteer fall into the sea from the pier at Kyleakin. The Marine Coastguard Agency successfully brought the casualty to safety and transferred him to the ambulance for immediate treatment. Commenting on the rescue, Dave Philips from the Marine Coastguard Agency said: “This was a very realistic scenario to test as the pier will be central to the operations at the site. It was extremely useful for us to get on site and understand the layout and access points for us to get a casualty out of the water as soon as possible. The operation went well with good collaboration between us and the other emergency services, especially the teams form the ambulance and police.”MAJOR INCIDENT TRAINING DAY AT MOWI

Things got very interesting in the second scenario as Kevin O’Leary, site manager at Kyleakin, explains: “Our scenario for the second exercise was a major head injury, a risk in any manufacturing facility. The scenario began on the fourth floor of the feed mill. A worker was discovered lying unconscious on the floor. Mowi’s first aider escalated the case to the team leader who called for an ambulance. Once the paramedics were with the casualty, we escalated the scenario further. First of all, the head injury became a potentially fatal head injury which necessitated police intervention on site. Secondly, we introduced a fire to the factory. The fire service quickly arrived on site and evacuated the building. Our casualty was stretchered off site.”

Kevin continued: “We learned a lot from the day and will be immediately looking at measures to make improvements to our procedures.”

Every team from the participating emergency services on the day agreed that the exercise was successful and that it was valuable to get access to the fish feed mill before it opens to understand the site and plan accordingly. Lynda Allan, area inspector for Skye, Lochalsh and Wester Ross, Police Scotland, added: “It was great to be involved with Mowi and also to have the opportunity to work alongside all the other teams from the emergency services.”

A thorough debrief will take place within a week of the live exercise and a plan will be made to repeat the training on a regular basis.