Emergency services tested during airport drill

Chanel College students played a part in acting as the injured patients.
Chanel College students played a part in acting as the injured patients. Brenda Strong

IF AN emergency situation were to occur at Gladstone Airport, emergency service workers and airport staff would be ready.

The region's emergency plans were put to the test yesterday when about 70 local emergency service workers, airport staff and students from Chanel College took part in a simulation exercise.

The scenario involved a fabricated jet crash which occurred on the Gladstone runway after the plane attempted to land in a crosswind.

Emergency service workers responded to the accident as if it had eventuated and were tasked with dealing with five fatalities and many severely injured passengers.

Gladstone Airport Corporation chief executive officer Phillip Cash said the exercise enabled airport and emergency staff to examine how their emergency response plans and procedures worked together.

"These exercises are very important to ensure an effective, coordinated response by all those who would be involved in an incident," he said.

"It also enables us to identify the resources we need to apply to an incident."

Gladstone Police Inspector Les Bullus said if a real life incident were to occur, the police would have overall command.

Year 9 students from Chanel College took on the role of the passengers in the simulated incident and were allocated a range of injuries that had to be played out throughout the scenario.

Drama teacher Michele Chapman said the school jumped at the chance to be involved.

"We were contacted by Queensland Health," she said.

"How often do you get an opportunity like this?"

"It's fantastic for their drama skills and it's also a way of the school assisting the community."

Students Abbey Wyatt and Samee Beauchamp took on their roles with determination.

"We only found out our injuries today when we arrived," Samee said.

"I have a right arm laceration and severe bruising," Abbey said.

Both students said the experience was a valuable one.

"It makes you think how scary it would be being in the situation," Abbey said.

"You realise how serious accidents can be."


Topics:  chanel college emergency services gladstone airport

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