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Thursday evening saw a large amount of fire crews surrounding St. Botolph’s Church, raising questions from residents as to what was going on around the historic landmark.

A training exercise, organised by the service was carried out, testing out the crews responsiveness to a fire in a church, casualty rescue and salvage of the books within the church’s library.

Crews from Kirton, Wainfleet, Leverton, Spilsby joined Boston’s Wholetime crew and the Aerial Ladder Platform crew for the exercise which took around 2 hours on Thursday evening.

Our county’s heritage properties are unique and irreplaceable, and as such a fire in a building like The Stump, would have a huge impact on our community. We make sure we keep key information about buildings like St. Botolph’s Church in case of a fire, and we then test crews in using that information to resolve an incident. The church has a salvage and disaster plan, which our crews put into practice along with the staff to protect this iconic building.

This exercise was designed to be a similar scenario to that facing firefighters tackling the devastating Notre Dame fire in 2019 - starting in the roof space and with a need to salvage artefacts from within the building.

Crews used breathing apparatus teams with hoses to climb the spiral staircase to attack the fire from the tower, but also used the Ariel Ladder Platform as a water tower to apply water externally. At the same time, other firefighters entered another part of he building to do a simulated recovery of 100 boxes – managing to achieve this in just 15 minutes.

I want to thank the crews, officers and staff from St. Botolph’s Church for making sure this was a successful exercise and that it provided valuable learning to everyone involved. Thanks also to the public who came to watch and encourage the crews during the exercise.

Station Manager Lee MarshLearning Management Leader - Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue