Over the weekend ACT Policing along with several local and interstate emergency response agencies were tested in a search and rescue exercise within the Namadgi National Park, south of Canberra.
The exercise ran from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon (3 to 5 May) in the Yankee Hat area of Namadgi National Park. The remote location provided a robust test of emergency response capabilities in a realistic scenario involving a plane crash and several missing persons within the park.
Sergeant Stephen Cooke, in charge of AFP Search and Rescue, said: “The holistic approach by involving several agencies provided a realistic environment to test and stretch our response teams.
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“I’d like to thank the many emergency response volunteers, such as ACT SES members, who gave up their weekend to be involved in the simulation. We also had several volunteers assisting by acting as witnesses or missing persons.
“A highlight of the weekend was a mock medical evacuation by helicopter. Personnel from ACT Police, ACT Parks, ACT SES and an ACT Ambulance Service collaborated seamlessly to carry out the simulation,” said Sergeant Cooke.
ACT State Emergency Service Chief Officer Tony Graham said, “We’re really pleased with the way our teams worked closely with ACT Policing, ACT Parks and other agencies during the exercise. For a few SES members, this was their first training exercise and the remote location provided a real challenge. These realistic exercises provide a great opportunity for our volunteers to learn new skills.”
Along with ACT Policing and the Australian Federal Police Specialist Response Group, the event involved representatives from ACT Parks, ACT SES, ACT Ambulance Service, the Australian Search and Rescue (AusSAR) Regional Search and Rescue Centre, Australian Transport Safety Bureau, NSW Police and Queensland Police.