ACT Policing, ACT Parks and Conservation, Snowy Hydro Southcare and a host of other emergency responders in the region will have their resources and capabilities tested in a high-risk exercise conducted within the Namadgi National Park south of Canberra this morning (Friday, December 16).
The exercise scenario involves an armed man posing a threat within the park.
ACT Policing’s Rural Patrol members will be the first responders to the incident, with the SRS Tactical Response team soon called in to assist at the remote location in the Orroral Valley, some 35 minutes south of Tuggeranong.
In an interagency response, ACT Policing is working closely with ACT Parks and Conservation rangers in establishing a cordon area to help contain the potential threat, and the Snowy Hydro Southcare team will be called in to assist with aerial reconnaissance and to medivac an “injured” person from the Forward Command Post at the former Orroral Tracking Station.
The exercise will run for around six hours, with the remote location providing a robust test of ACT Policing’s communications capability.
Superintendent Kylie Flower, in charge of ACT Policing’s Emergency Planning, said that it was vital to conduct scenarios which provides a fitting test of police response and “stretches” capabilities.
“In isolated areas such as the Orroral Valley where there is no mobile phone coverage and our radio network is right at the limits of its range, there’s added pressure on the officers responding to the incident to make the right calls at the right time,” Supt Flower said.
“This scenario is not an unrealistic one. We know that there are people such as unlicensed pig hunters who go into our national parks carrying firearms without a permit to do so. The chances of an incident occurring where a firearm is discharged and someone gets seriously hurt, is quite real.
“We need to know that as police, we can respond appropriately,” she said.