Emergency crews rushed to help the victim of a chainsaw amputation this morning as part of a training exercise testing their ability to work together.

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Firefighters worked alongside ambulance crews, urban search and rescue teams, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Broads Beat police officers, the Broads Authority and coastguard during the training session at Hickling Broad.

To see a gallery of photographs taken during the exercise, follow the link at the top right of this story.

In the first scenario of the three-hour exercise, emergency services practised working at height to get to a patient who had suffered chest pains while working up a 10m-high tower.

In the second they had to access and remove to safety a man who had lost a limb in a chainsaw accident, using floating rafts to cross the broad and recover the patient.

Phil Berry, station manager at Carrow fire station, said the exercise tested the agencies’ ability to work together at speed in extreme conditions.

“We are pushing the scenarios to test ourselves as a group of organisations: how we respond to the situations together and how we can achieve our goals,” he said.

“When you get this number of organisations working together, it’s a question of how we combine them efficiently so that we can remove the person to the safest place.”

Mr Berry said the 50-strong operation had been suggested by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust to ensure safety responses were as sharp as possible.

He added: “As we are coming into spring and summer, we will have a lot of visitors and it’s an opportune time to test our procedures and ensure we can keep everyone safe.”

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