The stands were filled by volunteers playing the part of the panicking crowds. Fake smoke, mock injuries and people looking for loved ones set up a challenging role for the Greater Manchester Firefighters and Police.
The VIGIL voice alarm system was activated, triggering pre-recorded messages to inform and guide the crowds. The systems emergency and fire microphones were used to broadcast live information ensuring everyone was up-to-date with the situation and how they should react.
Dave Unsworth, Northern Sales Person for Baldwin Boxall, was at the event and, seated in the control room, had a full view of the unfolding exercise. Dave said I took part in a staged major disaster at the Etihad Stadium home of Manchester City FC and can report that the VIGIL VA system did its bit perfectly. The morning consisted of a small fire which escalated to a major fire and then serious casualties and the whole thing being compounded by fans trying to escape and fans (actors) causing a general nuisance by being rowdy or trying to get to areas which may endanger their lives.
A most interesting day although being there on a Sunday at 8.00 am was the down side!