Ambulance crews decked in bullet-proof vests and helmets rehearsed yesterday how they would respond to a terrorist attack.
The realistic and dramatic exercise rammed home the fact that Gibraltar is not isolated from the global threat of terrorism and must be prepared in every aspect.
Watched by media and trainers, the paramedics ran into the building where a mock terror attack had just taken place.
They were following close on the footsteps of armed police teams, who minutes earlier had practised their tactics and stormed the building.
Adding to the realism, bloodied bodies were carried out as they screamed in pain while survivors ran to safe ground.
Those were the scenes during several hours while the training exercise unfolded at the old King George V hospital.
The exercise was organised by the Gibraltar Health Authority in conjunction with the Royal Gibraltar Police and began promptly at 1pm.
Loud bangs and screams could be heard, and within minutes police officers kitted out in full body uniform appeared on the scene. Blank shots were fired as part of the illusion, and officers searched the building which was littered with bloodied dummies. Volunteers covered in fake blood and realistic looking injuries added to the dramatic scenes.
Ambulance personnel arrived at the scene and quickly began tending to the injuries.
“This is part of a course we are holding in Gibraltar as part of our service on firearm incidents and preparation. We have brought a team from UK to help us in this sort of training,” said Sigurd Haveland Resistance and Special Operations Officer GHA.
“The importance of today is integrating and not just between ourselves but with other emergency services. We will be working with the police. We have a fireman who is taking part in this exercise. We have the tri-services and the blue light services working together.”
“We are not in a cocoon anymore, we know that things are developing in Europe and we need some preparedness. These people have the standard of assurance that we need for training.”
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