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Transportation emergencies a key focus

February 2, 2006

Transportation emergencies a key focus at this year’s Institution of Fire Engineers conference

At least 200 emergency experts will debate vital issues relating to transportation emergencies during the national Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) conference in Christchurch later this year.

Delegates to Transportation Emergencies 2006 will include emergency services,
fire, civil and traffic engineers, major freight users, freighting companies, rail and road owners, local government engineers, government organisations such as ACC and hazardous substance transporters and inspectors.

One of the key speakers is senior lecturer in transportation engineering at Canterbury University, Andre Dantas.

He is working on a project assessing the benefits of information sharing on state highway roading assets in New Zealand

``It is critical to develop information which would help organisations in transportation emergencies.

``Recent events like the Kobe earthquake, the 9-11 World Trade Center attacks, the Southeast Asia tsunami, and flooding in New Zealand have shown that disruptions to society are massive and have long-term consequences when transportation organisations don’t have useful and reliable information.

``Currently, transport organisations do not have tools for sharing information during emergencies,’’ he said.

Conference organiser Kristin Hoskin said that the September 13-15 event at Jade Stadium will highlight concerns in New Zealand and internationally relating to transportation issues.

``Identifying key concerns and potential solutions will be significant outcomes of the conference.

`` The IFE was established in 1918 and as a body we are seeking a bigger profile so people better understand our role. We have a long legacy of raising awareness of and fostering improvements in the practice of fire engineering to fire engineers and related industries.

``Most importantly, the conference will help transport incident-related industries to network and discuss how they can better coordinate to reduce the number of transportation emergencies.’’

Hoskin said New Zealand relied heavily on its land transport system and any way it could be made safer was a huge benefit to the country.

People who deal with reducing, mitigating and preventing transportation emergencies would benefit from attending the conference, she said.

ENDS

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