Students rushed to the rescue after a petrol tanker jackknifed on a Hillingdon road - but luckily their help was only needed in a fictional scenario.

The Public Services students at Uxbridge College took part in the disaster emergency exercise called Operation Over-run on 20 November, led by Emergency Planning officers from Hillingdon Council.

The council's emergency planning team helps provide practical and strategic support during big incidents such as this, for example by setting up emergency accommodation for people evacuated from their homes, and assisting police with road diversions.

Firemen, police and a paramedic also came along to help the students decide what action needed to be taken to tackle the situation on the A40 near Hillingdon Underground Station.

Alexandra Booth, an emergency planning officer at Hillingdon Council who took part in the event, said: "The role of the emergency services in dealing with incidents like this is well-known, but not everyone knows the council has a big part to play too. I think the students showed a really mature viewpoint on what was needed in this situation - maybe some of them might even consider working for us in the future now."

Alison White, Public Services lecturer, said: "Our great links with Hillingdon Council, the British Army and other public organisations help our students get the best possible preparation for their futures. They had a great day and learned a huge amount about the work of the council and the emergency services."


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