BERKSHIRE firefighters and paramedics have taken part in a training scenario to test their response to an aircraft crash in Wokingham.

Crews from the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) and South Central Ambulance Service took part in the training session, called Operation Splash at the Black Swan lake in Dinton Pastures Country Park.

Specialist vehicles were used to stimulate the aftermath of a mid-air collision between a piper cherokee aircraft and a microlight.

Paul Jones, the group manager of the RBFRS believes that the exercise shows their commitment to sharing emergency resources.

He said said: “Today’s exercise clearly demonstrates that the fire service is not simply about fighting fires.

“In addition to our primary role, we regularly attend a wide range of challenging incidents, such as the one role-played here.”

Volunteers from the Causalities Union charity played the role of injured pilots and passengers, designed to make the scenario realistic.

The firefighters and paramedics who took part tended to casualties who had collided in the air above the lake. The re-created scenario also aimed to test techniques used in water rescue.

Mr Jones added: “This scenario meant one crew had to transfer themselves to the island using the rescue boat, taking all their skills and cutting gear with them, while another crew worked on the second aircraft on the shore, with casualties in both locations.

“Testing and exercising our skills to the maximum is essential to ensure we are always fully prepared to protect the public from any situation, no matter how rare.”

Firefighters from Wokingham, Slough, Crowthorne, Caversham Road, Wargrave, Dee Rad and Mortimer all took part.

The session was also designed to build on the partnership between the different services and practice the vital emergency care skills the crews deliver everyday.