First responders have taken local disaster readiness to the next level by responding to a simulated plane crash at the Bundaberg Airport recently.
The multi-agency exercise imitated a large-scale disaster with mass injuries and tested emergency procedures and response capabilities in a realistic scenario.
RACQ LifeFlight Rescue coordinated the exercise in conjunction with Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.
Participants included Bundaberg Hospital’s Emergency Department, RACQ LifeFlight’s Critical Care Doctors, Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS), Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) and Queensland Police Service (QPS).
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Chief Operating Officer Ben Ross-Edwards said the exercise brought together multiple stakeholders and emergency response agencies.
“This experience is an invaluable opportunity to test communications, incident assessment, decision making and resource deployment,” he said.
“Simulated emergency exercises enable us to systematically refine our protocols and collaborate with key stakeholders so that in the unlikely event of an large scale emergency incident, we are able to respond swiftly and efficiently.
“It provides a great opportunity for learning to occur safely.”
RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Critical Care Doctor Yulia Sugeng said the major incident response was a huge team effort.
“In a multi-casualty situation, we can only serve our community if we work together, from pre-hospital emergency services through to regional and tertiary trauma facilities,” she said.
“We are very grateful for those participating and their contributions to this exercise.
“High fidelity simulation exercises are very valuable for emergency services, to test both individual provider's and the system's preparedness to deal with less common but highly stressful situations, such as multi or mass casualty incidents.”
Local Disaster Management Group Chair and Mayor Jack Dempsey said Bundaberg Regional Council was pleased to play a role in the trauma training day by hosting response agencies at the airport.
“In any disaster situation preparedness is essential and it is wonderful to see this multi-agency training exercise take place which will provide vital skills and experience to first responders who work year-round to keep our community safe,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“Council staff find this to be a valuable opportunity to assist emergency officers to undertake the exercise while meeting the facility’s regulatory requirements.
“This collaborative approach can only benefit the community and each individual agency involved.”