EMERGENCY service workers and volunteers gathered in Gingin recently for a simulated plane crash exercise.
About 36 people from various agencies, including Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) and the RAC rescue helicopter, took part in the August 16 exercise at Gingin Recreation Centre.
Other agencies involved included WA Police, Gingin Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, Gingin South Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade, the Shire of Gingin, Wanneroo Joondalup State Emergency Service and St John Ambulance (SJA).
Exercise co-ordinator Brad Slater said it was designed to test the local response to an aviation incident.
“The scenario centred on the pilot of a small plane en-route to the Gingin Aerodrome experiencing major heart failure and the plane crashing with a total of four (people) on board,” he said.
“My vehicle was set up as an aircraft.”
The DFES north coastal district officer said the incident, which attracted onlookers, started about 5pm with notification of a small plane crash.
“Emergency services were responded in accordance with mobilisation protocols,” he said.
“Upon arrival the incident site was assessed as per operational procedures with resources committed.
“Casualties within the airframe were assessed initially by volunteer fire and rescue service brigade members.
“Once the crash-site was declared safe, SJA officers were allowed access to begin treatment.”
Mr Slater said the Rescue 651 helicopter landed about 5.40pm, with the patients treated and the pilot loaded onto the helicopter for a transfer to Royal Perth Hospital.
He said after the exercise ended about 6.05pm, onlookers were allowed in and the crews explained their jobs.
“There was quite a lot of interest from the local community,” he said.
“Once the incident was over, the community was allowed in close to the rescue helicopter.”
Mr Slater said crash exercises were required every two years, with the air crash scenario identified as a potential risk for Gingin.
“It aims to assist the Gingin local emergency management committee with their emergency response plans,” he said.
Gingin chief emergency services manager Phil Barrett thanked residents for their cooperation while the training took place.
“A special thanks must go to all those volunteers who gave up their time and participated in the simulation,” he said.
“It was a very worthwhile exercise for everyone involved.”