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An exercise in disaster looms

Wednesday, 22nd April, 2015

Representatives from the emergency services and other civic authorities planning for Thursday’s fake disaster. Representatives from the emergency services and other civic authorities planning for Thursday’s fake disaster.

By Darrin Manuel

The city’s airport will be transformed into a scene of death and destruction tomorrow, but locals needn’t be concerned. It’s all planned.

A major catastrophe will be staged at the airport to test the city’s ability to react and cope in a disaster situation.

The exercise will involve all local emergency services, along with the Far West Local Health District, City Council, airport management, Perilya mine rescue, University Department of Rural Health and Willyama High School.

Acting superintendent Matt Scott said the simulated incident would be an ideal test to see how local services cooperate and perform under pressure.

“It’s a great opportunity for local agencies and functional area people to work together in a controlled environment,” he said.

“The idea is that if a real incident occurs, each agency and area has already worked together and will be adequately prepared.

“It will exercise the individual agencies’ roles and responsibilities and the inter-operability between them.”

Supt Scott said the teams had handled previous simulated disasters well, including a train wreck last year and a plane crash the year before.

This year’s event will feature two phases, with the first taking place at the airport, and the second being conducted at the hospital.

Following the exercise all parties will meet to debrief and identify areas where they can improve.

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