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Northland storm - District Command Centre

Northland District Headquarters
88 Cameron Street, Whangärei
Wednesday July 9, 2014

Northland Police received more than 100 calls to help with fallen trees, flooding and vehicle crashes in last night's storm.

Northland District Commander Superintendent Russell Le Prou says police were well-prepared to deal with any incidents thanks to the District Command Centre (DCC).

Staff manned the DCC for 24 hours to ensure that police had enough staff deployed to the right areas to assist in any emergencies.
The DCC also worked closely with the Northern Communications emergency call centre to cover any priority events.

"Having modern technology in the DCC gave us the opportunity to forecast and plan for events hours in advance and re-roster staff to where our intelligence picture indicated that issues were likely to occur."

Mr Le Prou says this meant a number of staff were on duty earlier than normal, so they could deal with events as they happened.
"This was the case when Senior Sergeant Peter Robinson was on the spot when two cars ended up in flood waters near Kawakawa. A local farmer helped Senior Sergeant Robinson pull the two drivers trapped by the flood."

Mr Le Prou says the DCC worked closely with other agencies, such as the Whangärei District, Far North District and Northland Regional councils and the Fire Service.
"Even though a Civil Defence emergency was not declared, it enabled a well co-ordinated approach to a major storm event."

Mr Le Prou says the technology also gave the DCC an up-to-date view of what storm events were unfolding and where staff were located, so they could be sent to the scene.

"Technology helped us make sound decisions during the storm, but let's remember it was our emergency services staff on the ground that did the real work to keep people safe."

"As a consequence we were able to provide a much better service to our communities to ensure their safety."

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