A.R.P. Practice Exercise at Paddington

Baths and Bath Engineering The Official journal of the National Association of Baths Superintendents No.51 May 1938 Vol.5 p.110

A.R.P. Practice Exercise at Paddington.

By H. LEADBEATER, M.N.A.B.S., Chief Baths Superintendent, Paddington.

PADDINGTON BOROUGH COUNCIL, who have the proud boast to be the first London borough to stage an air raid precaution exercise, held another exercise recently.

The second A.R.P. practice exercise of the borough services in co-operation with the British Red Cross Society (Paddington branch), the St. John Ambulance Brigade, and the Boy Scouts association, was held at Paddington on March 30, 1938.

The central baths establishment was used as the headquarters, and from the control room and intelligence centre the whole of the 10 episodes, which took place in various parts of the borough, Were controlled.

All the episodes took place according to schedule, each in charge of -its own air raid warden for the district. The control room was notified by telephone of each incident, and they in turn arranged by telephone and runners for the first aid parties and decontamination squads to be dispatched to the scene of the episode.

The Turkish baths section was used as the first­-aid post and was staffed by Red Cross and the St. John Ambulance Brigade, and a doctor. They attended to the “casualties” as they were brought in the ambulances from the various .episodes.

Each episode which took place was witnessed by Home Office officials, members of the council and Territorial Brigade staff, who were taken in cars.

Members of the Boy Scouts Association acted as ‘ ` casualties. “They were brought on stretchers in the ambulances from the episodes with a label attached stating the exact nature of the casualty impersonated and the area of the occurrence. The cooling room was laid out as a casualty clearing station, and as each casualty was brought in, the first and second portions of the label were detached by the undressers. The first portion was retained for record purposes, the second “being tied to the left wrist by a rubber band attached; while the third portion remained tied to the discarded clothing, which was placed in air-tight bins and transferred to the mustard gas laundry in another part of the building by specially detailed men.

After thorough cleansing and showers the patients then redressed in fresh clothing which had previously been arranged and labelled in pigeon holes, bearing numbers corresponding to -the labels attached to the left wrist.

The spacious committee room at the baths, which has a telephone and inter-communication telephone to all parts of the building, was laid out as a control room from which all reports in dupli­cate of all the episodes were received and dispatched.

During the evening a smoke “bomb” was fired on the verandah outside this room filling the room with smoke. This was done to represent a gas bomb, interrupting the work of the control room staff.

They immediately extinguished the electric light, put on their gas masks, lighted hurricane lamps, and the chief warden owing to the tele­phone service having been temporarily placed out of action ” by the bomb-gave verbal instructions to the staff, which they copied on special forms and dispatched with runners to the rescue and decontamination parties for assistance.

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