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Realism Important Part of Civil Defence Exercise

Realism Important Part of Civil Defence Exercise

Ruapehu District Council (RDC) Civil Defence and its partner emergency response organisations undertook an all-day training exercise at the Matapuna Water Treatment Plant in Taumarunui yesterday.

Along with Council the organisations taking part in the exercise included; Police, Taumarunui and Wanganui Fire Brigades, Wanganui Civil Defence, St John Ambulance, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, Search and Rescue, Waikato and Whanganui DHBs and Veolia Water.

RDC Emergency Management Officer, Nick Watson, said that the training exercise that was based on a chlorine gas explosion at the Water Treatment Plant.

“The exercise was made as realistic as possible which included fully setting-up Council’s Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) and even having the people playing the ‘casualties’ of the explosion made up in realistic special effects.”

“These types of exercises are an incredibly important part of our civil defence readiness training,” he said.

“In addition to allowing all the partner agencies to work together they let the people whose day jobs aren’t in emergency services ‘get a feel’ for what an actual real life civil defence response involves.”

“These exercises provide the opportunity to test all our systems and procedures.”

“Yesterday we identified the need for alternative communications between all partner emergency response organisations.”

Mr Watson noted that all the participating organisations played their part well during the exercise.

“A big thank you also needs to go out to all the volunteers who took part in the exercise,” he said.

“RDC Civil Defence plans to conduct a training exercise of this magnitude at least every two years although we are also involved with lower level training on a more regular basis.”

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