Simulated rescue puts multiagency response to the test

Member News image


CFA members have taken part in a significant multi-agency training exercise at Sovereign Hill to help prepare for emergency situations.


The exercise was held at the nationally acclaimed open-air museum in Ballarat, with CFA members and other emergency service agencies playing an active part along with local authorities.

CFA District 15 Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer Gavin Hope said the scenario simulated a rescue from an underground mine tour ride which was played out in real-time.

“Training exercises like this are critical for emergency service personnel to put their skills to the test and further improve interagency operability,” he said.

“Each emergency service agency has their own incident management plan for large tourist attractions like Sovereign Hill, so simulated exercises like this are a great opportunity to come together to enact those plans.”

The simulated exercise involved a tour group of 33 people in an underground mine tour, which was late to arrive at its destination. It was discovered during the training exercise that the mine tour ride had derailed, and multiple people had been injured.

Trainee paramedics played the role of casualties, and emergency service personnel were activated to rescue them from the underground mine tour.

Rescue crews worked to rescue the injured, whilst working in difficult conditions including low light and limited radio communications.

Once casualties were safely removed from the mine, they were triaged above ground and treated for their injuries.

“This exercise involved over 100 people from emergency service agencies including CFA, Fire Rescue Victoria, Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Service, Ambulance Victoria and local council, so it really shows the huge amount of organisation it takes to come together to ensure the community is as best protected as they can be,” Gavin said.

“It was also a great opportunity for Sovereign Hill to review their local emergency management plan, and a chance for CFA personnel to hone our skills in running an incident management team.

“I want to thank everyone for their incredible efforts yesterday and to Sovereign Hill for hosting this important exercise.”

Images courtesy of Blair Dellemijn of Uniform Photography.


  • Member News image
  • Member News image
  • Member News image
  • Member News image
  • Member News image
Submitted by CFA Media