Staged terrorism attack
Police and emergency services put to the test
ACTORS were writhing on the Rural Fire Service Centre’s floor in a scene of staged chaos as police and emergency services’ response to a terrorist attack was put to the test.
Federally-funded operation Exercise Northern Exposure was designed to evaluate agency responses to a mass-casualty terrorist incident in a regional setting.
The exercise took place in Coffs Harbour on Thursday morning as one of many regional locations chosen.
Coffs/Clarence local area commander Superintendent Mark Holahan advised the community there was no need for concern.
“The exercise is not around any specific threat, it’s just an exercise that has been planned for a number of months now,” he said.
“Exercises such as this send a clear message that local law enforcement and emergency service agencies have the necessary skills, prowess and practised ability to respond to a wide range of incidents.
“Terrorism and its related activities are not confined to major cities.”
More than 100 personnel from NSW Police Force, Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW SES played their part to assist during the scenario, in which dummies and made-up actors appeared injured after a terrorismrelated attack.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch, commander of the NSW Police Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command, said the exercise was part of the ongoing commitment to a program of drill-style exercises.
“While we need to test this type of scenario, there is no known threat along these lines and the public should not be alarmed,” he said.
“In recent years we have tested our response capabilities in a range of situations and we must keep broadening our scope to ensure our preparedness is up to the level required.
“The community expects that from us.”
While we need to test this type of scenario... the public should not be alarmed. — Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch
DRILL: Scenes from the training day. PHOTOS: JASMINE MINHAS