Battle Abbey School was swarming with firefighters on Tuesday night (October 11).
But thankfully there was no cause for alarm as this was just a very realistic training exercise.
Firefighters from Hastings, Rye, Burwash, Broad Oak and Bexhill, led by crews from Battle Fire Station, took part in the huge drill, which saw crews tackle two different emergency scenarios.
In one, a small fire was simulated, while the other allowed firefighters to put their hazardous materials training to the test.
During the course of the training exercise, a ‘casualty’ was rescued from the roof of the school using an aerial ladder platform.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service used a number of props to ensure the exercise was as realistic as possible.
James Dennett, marketing manager at Battle Abbey School, told the Observer: “They had dummies around the place and a lot of smoke bombs for authenticity.
“They were there for about two hours.”
Students, some dressed in their pyjamas, found themselves evacuated from the school premises.
Mr Dennett said: “The boarding house was evacuated as part of the drill.
“But students were not outside for the full two hours.”
Firefighters have hailed the exercise a success.
Crew commander Leo Cacciatore, from Battle Fire Station, said: “It was a multi-agency exercise with the police to test new equipment and procedures for the fire service.
“It was also to make sure we are on top of our local school and make sure we can do things right if there is an incident there.”
He added: “It was a really good exercise.
“It is the biggest one we have had for quite a while.”
* Picture courtesy of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, via @BattleESFRS
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