THE county's firefighters would respond in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, according to a senior fire officer.

County councillors were told how specially trained teams working within Oxfordshire’s fire and rescue service would help injured people following an attack.

Grahame Mitchell, the service’s assistant chief fire officer, said officers have been trained to work in the ‘warm zone’ – immediately behind the 'hot zone', where armed police would look to neutralise a terrorist threat.

He told the council's audit committee: “Historically, firefighters would render humane services so they’ve actually looked to rescue people. But in a hot zone, where there are active shooters, fire fighters cannot be where active shooters are.

“So these firefighters are trained to work in what we called the ‘warm zone’. Police are starting to engage the attacker – whether that be [an attacker with] a knife, a car or a firearm – and in the warm zone, where there are injured people, these teams are specially trained with protection to go in there. We call it ‘treat and leave’.

“So they’ll actually treat the most seriously injured and then they’ll leave them for others to come to get them away to hospital.”

Mr Mitchell said the work was ‘really important in the current climate’.

As of yesterday, the Government’s terrorism threat level from international terrorism is severe, which means an attack is highly likely. That is down from the most serious level. Critical means an attack is expected imminently.

The threat to England, Wales and Scotland from a Northern Ireland-related terrorist attack is moderate – in that it is possible but not likely. But the threat of a terrorist attack in Northern Ireland as a result of Northern Ireland-related terrorism is severe.

Mr Mitchell said the service had improved' aspects of its work in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster in June 2017.

The fire and rescue service had reassured residents of Oxford's tower blocks in the summer of 2017 that their homes were safe.

The city council replaced cladding deemed to be dangerous on two towers in Blackbird Leys by early 2018.

Last week the authority confirmed the Government had paid it £1.1m to pay for the work.