Large-scale fire evacuation simulation to take place at Manchester City stadium as crews tackle safety fears

By Dean Wilkins

A large-scale fire simulation will be staged at Manchester City’s stadium this weekend to prepare emergency services for an emergency evacuation – if the unfortunate event ever arose.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service will stage a horrifying disaster at the Blues Etihad Stadium on Sunday to test how the club would cope with a serious incident.

Up to 100 volunteers are set to act as fans and synthetic smoke will bellow through the stands as ten fire crews participate in the evacuation.

Station Manager Tony Bryan, from Blackley Fire Station, said: “The stadium is an iconic landmark in Greater Manchester with thousands of people visiting it almost every week and the safety of spectators and everyone at the club is paramount.

“We have never run anything like this at Manchester City before and it’s very important to test our firefighters and their staff, how they react and the emergency procedures that are in place.

“For us, it is how we will deal with a massive crowd of fans who will be panicking, injured people and those distressed at being unable to find their loved ones.”

Volunteers from the club, as well as GMFRS’ own volunteers and young people from the GMFRS Prince’s Trust scheme, will act as the crowd.

The exercise has taken six months of planning and will also involve St John Ambulance and the Salvation Army.

Crews will be briefed from 9.30am on Sunday with the exercise taking place from around 10am.

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