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Agencies take wing at Warrnambool Airport
At 6:00pm on September 12, pagers alerted CFA, SES, Ambulance Victoria, Victoria Police and DHHS to a level two incident which involved a hostile situation on board a plane at the Warrnambool Regional Airport.
The plane had impacted the terminal, causing a fire with a number of passengers on board.
Only, this time it was a drill. A large scale training exercise put together by the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee involving 30 CFA firefighters from Warrnambool, Koroit and Winslow brigades.
This type of combined training scenario is vital for firefighters to give them firsthand experience at the scene of a major incident. It also gives the firefighters a chance to work together with their other agencies and fine tune interoperability at a complex incident.
CFA Operations Officer, Paul Marshall said the learning experience for all members was invaluable.
“For new CFA members it was an opportunity to train alongside their colleagues and other agencies without the pressure of a real life scenario. We work as one and it’s vital we are able to train in these realistic scenarios together.
“No two incidents are the same, and this particular training exercise is something out of the ordinary. We were required to pull all our resources together and work as one from start-to-finish, it’s a chance to test the whole system out from planning, response to recovery.
"As CFA increases capabilities, we’re able to demonstrate those skills to the other agencies.
“Assessing our performance, it was impressive to see how well all agencies worked together and we were able to leave with the confidence that we’re able to handle any situation.”
The large scale incident was organised with help from the local aero club in Warrnambool with their members taking part as the casualties on board the aircraft used in the exercise.