The scene that greets the Civil Defence response teams is one of utter carnage.
A car is wedged under a train barrier arm, and there’s a woman on the ground severely injured. Inside the wrecked car is a distressed family - the father’s leg is trapped, the mother has an exposed compound femoral fracture and the teenage girls in the back seat are crying and pleading for help.
This is just an example of a realistic scenario Red Cross emergency teams respond to as part of their training.
From 11-13 September, Red Cross Disaster Welfare and Support Teams (a team of volunteers who are trained in disaster response and emergency management) from around the North Island will converge on Ngaruawahia for their annual training exercise.
Presented with a real-time emergency scenario, they’ll face mass casualties, first-aid and pre-hospital emergency care, shelter management, community outreach and rescue missions.
The exercise is designed to test the readiness of emergency services, Red Cross team members and volunteers in an emergency. The exercise is eagerly anticipated following months of training and preparation by agencies.
Waikato District Council staff will run an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for the duration of the exercise. They’ll also be responsible for tasking to the Red Cross EOC, assisting in the facilitation of the exercise, providing local intel to the teams and coordinating welfare.
Sue Duignan, General Manager Customer Support says this is a great opportunity for team members to cement their skills and apply them in a complex multi-agency disaster event. “It’s an opportunity for us to build relationships and work together in preparation should we be faced with a real emergency.”
Volunteers will be spread throughout different locations in Ngaruawahia and will be supported by the Fire Service, St John and Waikato District Council Civil Defence team members.
“While you’re out and about you may see people in red overalls, a large number of fire engines or actors with make-up replicating injuries. Please don’t be alarmed, this is a training exercise and everything is scenario based.”
We’ll be updating Facebook with photos and news as the exercise is underway so be sure to follow us to find out more.
For more information please contact:
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633 Extn: 5649
027 889 3084