During the night of 23 to 24 March, a large multidisciplinary calamity training was organized in the Leidsche Rijntunnel on the A2. These kinds of multidisciplinary trainings are extremely important for first responders, Rijkswaterstaat and the tunnel operator in order to experience how quickly a tunnel can fill up with smoke in case of a tunnel fire. The vision of the first responders is substantially hindered, thus presenting them with a huge challenge!
The utmost was asked of the emergency services. Two dead, a number of seriously injured, struggling actors and a devastation. Topping it all off, the bizarre smoke development causes poor visibility and a number of fires must be extinguished.
Realistic training every four years
The Dutch rules and regulations pertaining to tunnel maintenance require a calamity training that must be organized every four years. This tunnel training involved the supporting participation of no fewer than 140 people and around 80 first responders participating in the actual training. It was by far the largest multidisciplinary training ever organized in the history of the Leidsche Rijntunnel, people-wise. It has been an amazing experience to take part in a training on this level and we were astonished by the professional attitude of all parties involved. The unbridled enthusiasm of all first responders, actors, side-kicks and LOTUS victims have contributed to the necessary realistic level of this training. In addition, companies like Collewijn Berging and Engie have allowed us to focus in full on the execution of our specialist activities. We also want to complement the Police of Midden-Nederland, the municipality of Utrecht and the Utrecht Safety Region for their contribution and professionalism. The preparatory phase of the training was excellent, and we benefitted from a well channelled information and organisation.
All-in all, we are looking back on an incredible training, for which we wish to express special thanks to Piet Peeters and Patrick Elferink from Rijkswaterstaat Midden-Nederland. What a great assignment and what a marvellous collaboration!
View the portfolio item here for the full scenario and a complete impression of this tunnel exercise!