‘Crash’ tests work­ers

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Perth Airport -

EMER­GENCY ser­vices de­scended on Perth Air­port re­cently to test the State’s abil­ity to han­dle a plane crash.

WA Po­lice, Perth Air­port, Cus­toms, air­lines, the Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices, St John Am­bu­lance, WA Health and the Red Cross were among those in­volved.

A Depart­ment of Health spokes­woman said the air­port ex­er­cise sce­nario started with re­ports that a pi­lot could no longer main­tain a sta­ble flight and was ex­pect- ing to crash. The “crash” oc­curred at 10am in­volved about 300 peo­ple.

For the train­ing, 150 vol­un­teers ar­rived early to have their “wounds” ap­plied with spe­cial make-up known as moulage.

The crash site was based at the air­port and WA Health de­ployed hos­pi­tal re­sponse teams to sta­bilise “pa­tients”.

“Train­ing ex­er­cises like this al­low teams to prac­tise their skills in a dis­as­ter scene with vol­un­teers act­ing as the in­jured,” she said.

“It is also a chance for them to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the dis­as­ter re­sponse kits and the equip­ment avail­able to clin­i­cians in the field, which is very dif­fer­ent from what is avail­able in a hos­pi­tal.”

The State Health In­ci­dent Co-or­di­na­tion Cen­tre was ac­ti­vated, and sev­eral hos­pi­tals also par­tic­i­pated in the ex­er­cise.

Sir Charles Gaird­ner, Ar­madale, Royal Perth, Swan Dis­tricts, Joon­dalup and Fre­man­tle hos­pi­tals prac­tised their plans to re­ceive mass ca­su­al­ties.

“This year’s ex­er­cise pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity to test Al­lo­cateME, an app de­signed for WA Health to quickly and ef­fi­ciently com­mu­ni­cate ca­su­alty de­tails and pro­vide real-time al­lo­ca­tions to the dis­as­ter scene,” she said.

“Tra­di­tional meth­ods use ra­dios to com­mu­ni­cate where only one per­son can speak at a time, so we are ex­plor­ing the po­ten­tial to use smart­phones so that mul­ti­ple peo­ple can com­mu­ni­cate quicker and we can make the ca­su­alty al­lo­ca­tion process even more ef­fec­tive.”

Emer­gency ser­vices treat ‘pa­tients’ at Perth Air­port sport­ing fake wounds in a dis­as­ter train­ing ex­er­cise.

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