The council share this latest news. We’ve added video and audio from the event. Ed
An RAF Chinook helicopter is on the Isle of Wight today, as part of a multi-agency exercise organised by the Isle of Wight Council Emergency Management Team.
In 2015, a number of helicopter landing sites were identified across the Island for use by military aircraft in the event of a major incident where military assistance may be required.
Testing out the various sites
Today (Tuesday 29 November), a Chinook helicopter from RAF Odiham in Hampshire will visit a number of sites identified in 2015 to provide training to local agencies and volunteer groups on helicopter landing site procedures.
In addition, the RAF will work with the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service to demonstrate the lifting capability of the Chinook helicopter. A high volume pump, used by the fire service in major flood situations, will be lifted by the Chinook to demonstrate the ‘under slinging’ technique of the aircraft.
Interview with IWC Resilience manager
OnTheWight caught up with Darren Steed, Isle of Wight Council resilience manager during the exercis. There’s some audio disruption at the start – apologies.
Picking up the pump
Here are the higher quality videos that OnTheWight shot at the event.
Landing pump and personnel
Live video shot at the event at Sandown Airport
OnTheWight shot some live video from there too. There’s a lot of build up, with the Chinook taking off at 18:30 in. Despite best attempts most of the commentary was lots in the general noise.
High volume pump operators from the Island’s fire and rescue service, along with council staff who are trained to deploy to emergency incidents as liaison officers will be given the opportunity to fly in the aircraft while the high volume pump is being carried, enabling them to further familiarise themselves with the capability and safety aspects of the aircraft.
Putting training into practice
The Chinook will complete a number of “touch and go” landings at sites around the Island, at which members of the coastguard, council and WightSAR will put their training into practice.
The sites being visited by the Chinook are not being made public for safety and security reasons.
Councillor Phil Jordan, Isle of Wight Council executive member for public protection, said:
“Work of this nature will enhance arrangements that are already in place should, a major incident occur.
“It complements work being undertaken by town and parish councils in the development of their own community resilience plans, part of which may require arrangements for the establishment of helicopter landing sites, involving both multi-agency staff and voluntary sector groups with a role in emergency response.
“We would never want to see a major incident take place here, however residents can be assured resilience plans are in place should they ever be needed.”
If you would like to find out more about the Island Resilience Forum and community resilience, please visit the iWight Website.
Images added during briefing.
12:28 Added higher quality videos and audio interview