Mock crash tests emer­gency crews

North Coast Times - - BUDGET REPORT - Lucy Jarvis

EMER­GENCY ser­vice work­ers and vol­un­teers gath­ered in Gin­gin re­cently for a sim­u­lated plane crash ex­er­cise.

About 36 peo­ple from var­i­ous agen­cies, in­clud­ing the De­part­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices and the RAC res­cue he­li­copter, took part in the Au­gust 16 ex­er­cise at Gin­gin Recre­ation Cen­tre.

Other agen­cies in­volved in­cluded WA Po­lice, Gin­gin Vol­un­teer Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice, Gin­gin South Vol­un­teer Bush Fire Bri­gade, the Shire of Gin­gin, Wan­neroo Joon­dalup State Emer­gency Ser­vice and St John Am­bu­lance (SJA).

Ex­er­cise co-or­di­na­tor Brad Slater said it was de­signed to test the lo­cal re­sponse to an avi­a­tion in­ci­dent.

“The sce­nario cen­tred on the pi­lot of a small plane en route to the Gin­gin Aero­drome ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ma­jor heart fail­ure and the plane crash­ing with a to­tal of four peo­ple on board,” he said.

The DFES north coastal dis­trict of­fi­cer said the in­ci­dent, which at­tracted on­look­ers, started about 5pm with no­ti­fi­ca­tion of a small plane crash.

“Emer­gency ser­vices re­sponded in ac­cor­dance with mo­bil­i­sa­tion pro­to­cols,” he said.

“Upon ar­rival, the in­ci­dent site was as­sessed as per op­er­a­tional pro­ce­dures with re­sources com­mit­ted.

“Casualties in the air­frame were as­sessed ini­tially by vol­un­teer fire and res­cue ser­vice bri­gade mem­bers.

“Once the crash site was de­clared safe, SJA of­fi­cers were al­lowed ac­cess to be­gin treat­ment.”

Mr Slater said the Res­cue 651 he­li­copter landed about 5.40pm, with the pa­tients treated and the pi­lot loaded on to the he­li­copter for a trans­fer to Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal.

He said af­ter the ex­er­cise ended about 6.05pm, on­look­ers were al­lowed in and the crews ex­plained their jobs.

Mr Slater said crash ex­er­cises were required ev­ery two years, with the air crash sce­nario iden­ti­fied as a po­ten­tial risk for Gin­gin.

“It aims to as­sist the Gin­gin lo­cal emer­gency man­age­ment com­mit­tee with their emer­gency re­sponse plans,” he said.


Top: Gin­gin Vol­un­teer Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice fire­fight­ers Merv Neuen­dorf and Graeme Mait­land-Smith with am­bu­lance of­fi­cers Irene Neville and Han­nah Hart. Above: Pa­tient An­drew Wor­thing­ton with crit­i­cal care para­medic Chris Oakes.

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