Ex GOSHAWK – Emergency Services Test Major Incident Plan

Blackpool Promenade has been closed off today From 6pm until around midnight for a mega training operation for emergency services. The affected portion of the promenade is between North Pier and Central Pier, as traffic is diverted to make room for the task, named ExGOSHAWK.

Ex GOSHAWK is underway

Residents and visitors do not need to be alarmed, as the training exercise has not been in response to any particular report. Instead, it is necessary to ensure that emergency services are properly equipped and trained to handle an extreme emergency should one arise. This is becoming more important as the UK’s terrorism threat level has been raised to a serious level.

The training exercise isn’t anything new. In fact, it is reported that the event was initially planned to take place in 2019, however Brexit happened, causing the mission to be placed on hold, with further delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The pressure on the emergency services has been so high that it was decided that this training could wait until now.

This multi-agency response plays an important role in ensuring that all sectors are ready for the eventuality that a large scale emergency could happen. Testing the plans and ensuring that everyone can work together is key. Whilst the weather tonight is cold and rainy, we see just how dedicated our emergency services are, attending emergencies all year round.

Attacks such as the Manchester Arena bombing on 22nd May 2017 and the 7th July London bombing are examples of notable terrorism attacks in the UK. Although we haven’t had many serious terrorism incidents, it’s reassuring to know that our emergency services are ready in case something does happen.

Our team are on the promenade this evening to observe the procedure this evening and so we will update this article as the event goes on.


6:00pm: Vehicles arrive on scene

Vehicles to be used in the training event arrive on scene



Police, ambulance and fire services are all in attendance.

It is estimated that around 300 actors will be simulating a terrorist event.

Setting up for the action

A Walk on the Wild Side has LIVE coverage of this event – update, Stephen’s phone battery has given up so he is recording on a backup device and will post later on.



7:15pm: The incident is set up and ready to go


7:15 pm – The mock incident is set up


7:15 pm – The mock incident is set up



Emergency services personnel are on the scene


7:40pm: – Actors are now on scene

Actors on scene


7:50pm: a drone ready to take off from the Comedy Carpet

A drone is ready to launch from the Comedy Carpet


8:15pm:  Actors lay around the promenade simulating a serious large scale incident


Actors can be seen laying in the road as emergency teams move in to provide assistance



8:17pm: Actors and emergency services spring into action




8:20pm: Actors create a simulation of a serious emergency incident



Actors fight the wind to attempt to assist someone else as part of the exercise
Actors fight the wind to attempt to assist someone else as part of the exercise
Actors fight the wind to attempt to assist someone else as part of the exercise


8:30pm:  The exercise is paused for an actual Lifeboat emergency

9:30pm: Gunfire heard as training exercise continues.



9:55pm: Hostages (actors) spotted being released