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North Abel Exercise
A counter terrorism exercise was held on the 23rd May 2013 in the Loddon Mallee Region.
As part of the Exercise, Victoria Police received notification of a credible threat to public transport in Regional Victoria, necessitating the set up and staffing of Divisional Police Incident Operation Centres ( IPOCs) at Bendigo and Mildura from 0900 hrs.
Public transport busses at each location were attacked via a chemical release causing varying effects to approx. 35 passengers on each bus.
Victoria Police were the Control Agency (terrorist event) and were required to conduct an appropriate response (managed from each IPOC) along with all other agencies (Country Fire Authority, Ambulance Victoria, State Emergency Service, Red Cross, Local Government, Public Transport Victoria, Department of Health, Department of Human Services, etc). Victoria Police called together and chaired an Emergency Management Team (EMT) at each level.
There were roughly 200 participants at the Bendigo site and 130 at Mildura which included observers, players and response crews. The exercise was a success and has identified various learnings and opportunities to be incorporated into general business
One of the key successes of the exercises included the diversity of the participants. The players were third year medical students from La Trobe University and Sunraysia Institute of Tafe who volunteered their time to be part of the exercise. A number of the students volunteered to go through decontamination which involved being showered down outside with cold water despite the chilly weather. The exercise was filmed by local students from Girton Grammar School Bendigo and Bendigo South East Secondary College which will form part of their course.
The exercise was successful whilst contributing further a greater multi agency focus.
Prior to the exercise, information sessions, relating to dealing with Terrorism and Chemical/Biological Radiological (CBR) type incidents, were held in both Mildura and Bendigo to refresh members from all agencies in dealing with Hazchem events in general and Terrorism related events in particular. Almost 200 members have completed this refresher training.