Taree Airport was a hive of activity last Saturday, June 18, as emergency services converged for a simulated aircraft crash response exercise.
In attendance were members of NSW Fire and Rescue, NSW Police, NSW Ambulance, Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service, Volunteer Rescue Association, along with a number of volunteers from the community.
The event was organised by the local emergency management committee, a group comprising representatives from all emergency and support services for the Mid Coast area.
With different branches of emergency services responding simultaneously to the incident, a high level of cohesion was required to guarantee a successful outcome.
"It was about making sure that we were able to communicate with other services, that we were able to work together cooperatively, and able to utilise the resources and expertise that each different service brings to the scene" said Taree Fire Station Commander, Peter Willard.
The day began with a morning briefing outlining safety protocols and which areas of the site were accessible, given that the airport remained operational throughout the operation.
"You get enough information to know that there's been a crash and that there's been persons trapped, potentially injured and we go from there and just go through our processes"- Peter Willard.
The exercise itself began when services received a call informing them that an aircraft had crashed, but with little more information than that supplied.
"You get enough information to know that there's been a crash and that there's been persons trapped, potentially injured and we go from there and just go through our processes" said commander Willard.
Overall the day was considered a success and helped solidify the working relationships between the various services involved. "I think from that point of view, and from the point of view of working cooperatively, it was an excellent exercise" said commander Willard.
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