At the old Antony’s Cutting Bridge, between Bacchus Marsh and Melton, CFA brigades responded to a mock incident, aimed to test Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and response.
Melton Fire Brigade Senior Station Officer Cory Woodyatt said the incident involved a car versus bus crash on the bridge – with the bus carrying CFA junior members.
He said firefighters were placed under difficult circumstances during the exercise with limited access to the children and other obstacles along the way.
“The car involved was a small hatch back with two passengers. The driver of the car (a mannequin) was trapped and the other was ejected out of the vehicle to the bottom of a ravine,” SSO Woodyatt said.
“The idea of this scenario was to have the person in the car cut out and the ejected person rescued via rope rescue.
“This allowed emergency service personnel to practice a number of skills and techniques in road accident rescue, rope rescue, managing casualties and large-scale incidents.”
SSO Woodyatt said a mix of both career and volunteer firefighters took part from Melton and Bacchus Marsh CFA, with a speciality rope rescue unit also attending from Ballarat City Fire Brigade.
“We had more than 50 people taking part, which was one of the biggest exercises of this kind that we’ve hosted in the area,” he said.
“With the success we’ve had in pulling together this exercise, we’re hoping it can be an annual occurrence, with a special focus on interoperability and joint agency response. In planning this exercise we had assistance from Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria and VicRoads.
“Future training will be coordinated through the Melton Training Committee, made up of career and volunteer firefighters, who will look at specific risks within our response area to tailor our training to those needs.”
The road rescue training, titled Exercise Notlem, was held on, Saturday 28 April from 9.00am to 1.00pm.
Pictures by Blair Dellemijn, CFA Strategic Communications