Fire service prepares for disaster with large-scale student accommodation training exercise
FIVE fire engines and 30 firefighters were called to Nelson Square to rescue four students trapped on the third floor of the former Pack Horse Hotel.
But the town centre operation at the converted student digs — now called Boutique Student Living — was only a drill.
Crews from Bolton Central, Bolton North, Horwich and Farnworth, were practising tackling major a blaze at a multi-storey building where lives are at risk.
The building was chosen as a “hostile” environment, as up to 80 residents can potentially be living in it at any given time. The dummy casualties were intentionally placed as far away as possible from entrance points to test the firefighters to the limit.
Primo Property Management, the owners of Boutique Student Living, volunteered to let the fire service use their building while the students enjoy the last few weeks of their summer break.
Ruby Jones, aged 53, operations manager at Primo, said: “I was eager for the fire service to be familiar with the building as we take the safety of our students very seriously. We are keen to work closely with the emergency services at all of our sites.
Karsten Boyle, watch manager at Bolton Central, said: “We were there for two hours and within that time, we simulated the rescue of four students.
“It was a very successful and worthwhile exercise. Without the help of Ruby and the management company this wouldn’t have been possible, so we’re very grateful to them.”
Boutique Student Living will be welcoming their second batch of students in September after opening in Nelson Square this time last year.
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