WATCH: Firefighters battle through 'smoke' in Kenilworth theatre during training exercise

A Kenilworth theatre was the site of a training exercise for firefighters today (Thursday September 13) - complete with artificial smoke and dummy casualties.

Thursday, 13th September 2018, 1:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th September 2018, 4:13 pm
The crews' oxygen supplies are constantly monitored throughout the operation

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service headed to the Priory Theatre in Rosemary Hill at around 10am to simulate a scenario involving a fire in the theatre with reports of numerous people missing.

Crews headed inside the building, which was filled with artificial smoke, and proceeded to the auditorium where they carried out the 'casualties.'

Paul Whittaker, station commander for Warwick District, said training exercises like this were fantastic for the service.

The crews' oxygen supplies are constantly monitored throughout the operation

He said: "We try to do as many of these exercises as possible. It creates the closest thing to a real-life incident."

Steve Paget, temporary crew commander, said: "It's fantastic to get the support from the Priory Theatre to help us train for real situations.

"The more practice we get, the better we can perform in real incidents."

Will Blackburn, a 19-year-old retained firefighter at Kenilworth Fire Station and member of the Priory, suggested the use of the theatre for a training exercise.

Visibility is low inside the building - but it would be even worse in a real situation

He said: "It's such a unique building in what it can provide (for training purposes). To go in a foreign building and put the skills into practice in such a way is just brilliant."

Crews getting ready to enter the Priory Theatre