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UK, USA disaster experts to speak in Christchurch

UK, USA disaster experts to speak in Christchurch

September 13, 2006

Emergency experts involved in the emergency response to the “9/11” and “7/7” terrorist attacks are part of a line-up of speakers discussing land transport emergencies in Christchurch this month.

The event that has brought them here is the New Zealand Institution of Fire Engineers annual conference, running from September 13 – 15, the theme of which is land transport emergencies.

Emergency service personnel, land transport users and owners will be coming together to discuss and learn about transportation emergencies in a country that relies extensively on roads and rail.

Keynote speaker at the conference, Miami emergency manager John Conklin was part of the urban search and rescue efforts following the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and the Pentagon and is also experienced in dealing with hurricane responses.

He will describe the difficulties in keeping normal emergency services operating after Hurricane Katrina and other disasters.

Lancashire Fire & Rescue chief fire officer Peter Holland, also a keynote speaker, was involved in keeping emergency services responding to ‘regular’ emergencies while the London Underground bombings were taking place in July last year.

He was also involved in co-ordinating the response to the Buncefield Oil Depot fire later that year – the largest peace-time fire in Europe – and will discuss the challenges of dealing with such a large-scale emergency.

The goal of the conference is to help improve New Zealand's preparedness for incident response in major events that disrupt transport infrastructure.

Local speakers will discuss cooperative response and preparedness based on experience, planning and research in New Zealand. There will be a range of demonstrations and site visits during the three days.

Transportation Emergencies 2006 is organised by the Institution of Fire Engineers New Zealand Branch and sponsored by the New Zealand Fire Service. It takes place from September 13-15 at Jade Stadium, Christchurch.


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