Held last Tuesday and Wednesday, Exercise Sea Dragon tested national preparedness to deal with a major oil and pollution spill on Victoria’s coast.
The scenario involved a 100,000 tonne oil tanker breaching its cargo hold and releasing significant amounts of crude in Western Port Bay.
A Victorian-led multi-government and agency Incident Management Team (IMT) was set up to manage the Level 3 incident.
As part of this, the Incident Control Centre at Moorooduc Fire Station was set-up to coordinate operations at two main areas – Somers and Stony Point.
Moorooduc Fire Brigade Captain Nev Jones said such as in a real incident, CFA would be relied on for its facilities and local knowledge.
“It’s fantastic that our members have the capacity to support an operation such as this and this exercise has been a great chance for us to test how it all works,” he said.
Nev said a big part of the brigade’s ability to be able to host such an operations was thanks to its auxiliary.
This involves a group of around 18 non-operation members who support Moorooduc Fire Brigade in a number of ways, including fundraising.
“The auxiliary has just done a fantastic job and it wouldn’t have been possible without them,” he said.
Jan Heath, President of the group, said the auxiliary had assisted with catering for the Incident Control Centre, which involved providing more than 150 meals per day.
“Nev and I went out to get all of the food on Sunday and then we’ve had the auxiliary and brigade members in here each day from 5.00am helping to get ready for breakfast and the rest of the day, which is morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea,” Jan said.
The auxiliary also delivered meals to exercise participants out in the field, as they would do in a real incident.
During the exercise, CFA also provided Mobile Communications Vehicles (MCVs) and teams, as well some logistics staff.
A number of agencies were involved in Sea Dragon including the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Australian Marine Oil Spill Centre, Department of Transport, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Department of Primary Industries, Port of Portland, Parks Victoria, Patrick Ports Hastings, St John Ambulance, Victoria Police and Mornington Shire Council.