People from several agencies during the emergency simulation
A CFA-led, multi-agency emergency simulation exercise was undertaken at the Sunshine SES Incident Control Centre (ICC) yesterday, 21 November.
More than 60 people took part from several agencies, including CFA, Victoria State Emergency Service, Forest Fire Management Victoria, Fire Rescue Victoria, Victoria Police, Parks Victoria, Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, Ambulance Victoria, City of Whittlesea and Melbourne Water.
The simulated scenarios included a chemical leak at a water treatment plant and a grassfire, which developed into an Emergency Warning.
Several months of planning went into the project, titled Reficite, meaning “refresh” in Latin.
Craig Brittain, Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO), Regional Commander, North West Region, said the aim was to ensure everyone was prepared for the fire season.
“It gives our people the opportunity to practice their skills coming into summer,” he said.
ACFO Brittain said it was fantastic to have so many different agencies involved, not just from the emergency management sector.
“If we have a decent emergency that hits the state or an area, it’s not just one agency that deals with it, it’s a multitude of agencies,” he said.
“This exercise is also about getting to know people, and other agencies. When you know each other, you tend to work a lot better together.”
ACFO Brittain said the North West region was prepared for summer.
“We’ve done a lot of planning and exercises. We’ve also had the opportunity to deploy our people to Queensland,” he said.
“The past number of weeks they’ve been honing their skills in Queensland, which puts us in a really good place for this summer.”
ACFO Brittain also praised the Salvation Army for the amazing job they did providing meals on the day.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan, SES Chief Officer Operations Tim Wiebusch and Fire Rescue Commissioner Gavin Freeman also attended the exercise.