‘Crash’ tests workers
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.