Human and equine members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment were “evacuated” from the unit’s barracks this week (7 February).
Soldiers joined forces with the London Fire Brigade simulated a fire and rehearsed a rescue at Hyde Park Barracks, as well as practising salvage operations.
Some 80 firefighters, officers and control staff worked together to practise emergency procedures, also carrying out an evacuation of the stables.
“The unique requirements of a barracks housing horses as well as men and equipment make this a highly specialised operation,” said a spokesman for the Army.
“Routine bespoke training such as this ensures that Army personnel understand the working procedures of their counterparts from the emergency services and vice versa. It also ensures that military animals are well prepared for real incidents, with the aim of minimising any stress to them.”
The spokesman added that the exercise provided an “ideal opportunity” to test the joint working of the Household Cavalry and the fire service.
London Fire Brigade station manager Ben King said: “This exercise provided an ideal opportunity to test the multi-agency working between the brigade, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment staff and other partner agencies.”
The stables at Hyde Park Barracks are on two storeys, with the Blues and Royals based upstairs and the Life Guards underneath.
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More than 200 horses are stabled there, and the yard is a miracle of space-saving, with a horse-walker tucked into a compact corner and an indoor school also fitted in on site, as well as the double-decker stabling.
The horses are also exercised by hacking out on the streets of west London, as well as in an outdoor school in Hyde Park.
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