Lights, sirens, action during Warrnambool airport training exercise

If you noticed dozens of emergency vehicles heading out to Warrnambool’s airport yesterday evening, you can rest assured they were on their way to a training exercise.

From 6pm, a realistic scenario unfolded that involved an armed person on a plane threatening passengers and staff, causing the grounded plane to crash into a building.

Smoke and upturned chairs created a chaotic scene, set up by Warrnambool City Council and Moyne Shire Council to allow agencies to practise responding to an emergency.

About 120 personnel were involved in the training exercise, which was dubbed ‘Exercise Poldark’.

Moyne Shire and Warrnambool City Council emergency management coordinator Sue Rondeau said the training exercise, which ran for almost two hours, went very well.

“It’s just about working together and building relationships, as well as understanding the skills of each agency,” Ms Rondeau said.

Ms Rondeau said a field exercise was held about every three years.

Agencies involved included the CFA, SES, Ambulance Victoria and Victoria Police.

Ms Rondeau said during a debriefing after the exercise, volunteers who played the role of passengers and waiting relatives caught up in the situation said the scenario had been very realistic.

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