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Loddon Mallee exercise
On 14 May, Victoria Police, CFA, SES and emergency services and supporting agencies of the Loddon Mallee Region conducted Exercise Duplex.
A town bus kindly donated by Christians Bus Company was rolled in a simulated accident with 20 people on board. The accident was part of a larger scenario which will see incident Management Teams at Regional and State Level discuss and test multi agency and multiple hazard incidents such as preparing for storms on days of total fire bans which occurred several times during last summer.
“The exercise is an opportunity to test more complex situations in a safe and controlled environment,” said Exercise Coordinator Mark Cattell.
The simulated bus accident was staged in Pipers Lane in East Bendigo with all Emergency Services supported by a Cluster group of councils and other services.
McEniry Excavations supplied an excavator and operator and, to simulate the tree damage to the vehicle, Central Victorian Mobile Cranes donated the services of their crane and an operator to assist with rolling the bus onto its side as part of the scenario.
Members of the Bendigo First Scout group were involved in acting as simulated casualties with specialist wound make up.
Following the exercise the bus was moved to ALBD Metal Recycling to be recycled.
“This is a huge advantage to the State Emergency Service volunteers, Police, Ambulance and Country Fire Authority who respond to the accidents, as they can practise a situation that thankfully does not occur often,” said Mr Cattell
To add to the complexity we had an additional ‘no duff’ situation with the loss of communications for a period of time at the exercise control centre. As to be expected from response agencies, key exercise members were redeployed to assist in the (ultimately successful) search for a missing teenager.
Overall the exercise was a complete success and will form part of the next component of the exercise, a discussion forum tonight at at Latrobe University who have also provided their facility at no cost . This part of the exercise will be video linked to Latrobe Campus in Mildura as well as another location in Gisborne so that more people can participate.