This is why there was a convoy of fire engines on the A1 - drivers asked to be patient as vehicles take part in exercise

Drivers have been urged to be patient as a convoy of fire trucks head out on major North East routes complete with police escort.

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 5:45 pm
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has said the trucks will be heading for Hexham at around 6pm.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has said a series of its urban search and rescue vehicles will be setting off from its headquarters at Barmston Mere at 6pm today, Tuesday, October 29, as part of a training exercise.

They will head along the A1231 Sunderland Highway, to the A1 northbound, along to the A69 and then on the A69 west just past Hexham.

They will be joined by Northumbria Police vehicles as they make their way through rush hour traffic.

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The service has made moves to reassure people there is no real-life incident, but has explained it is part of the exercise, which has been based around a mid-air disaster.

TWFRS turned its training ground into the site of the “incident” which has put teams to the test as they deal with the chaos in the aftermath of the crash.

It has seen its specialist teams – including its search dog – join Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service as they work to rescue “casualties” from a range of challenging scenarios, including a damaged parking structure and railway tunnel.

The exercise aims to demonstrate their ability to work together effectively in the event of a large-scale incident.

Some of the vehicles used to create the scene of a disaster as part of the fire service exercise carried out at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service's headquarters.