CO-ORDINATED: Emergency Services and council staff working together to tackle the mock disaster.
CO-ORDINATED: Emergency Services and council staff working together to tackle the mock disaster. Adam McCleery

Mock disaster drill tests new management centre

THE new North Burnett Regional Disaster Management Centre has been put through its paces by the council and emergency services in a mock disaster drill.

North Burnett Regional Mayor Rachel Chambers outlined the mock situation that the team were tackling.

"The situation at the moment is that we've had a rain event that has gone on for three days and it's Boxing Day so there is no staff and no one available because they are all on holidays," Mrs Chambers said.

"We also have holidaymakers and all sorts of people in the region because of the time of year."

The drill was conducted in partnership with a team in Mundubbera with the Disaster Management Centre acting as the regional centre for coordination.

"The team in Mundubbera are being managed by [councillor] Fay Whelan and we are getting phone calls threw that people are getting cut off and a few other things so we meet soon to see if we progress from lean forward to stand-up," Mrs Chambers said.

"Lean forward means we are positioning ourselves, setting up our maps and stand-up is is when we begin to follow up on the reports and doing a lot more."

State Emergency Service Local Controller Brian Lowe was on site to co-ordinate the efforts of the SES.

"The SES operate their own incident control centres in the event of a major disaster like this and we would have a liaison officer here who would work liaise between here and the SES shed," Mr Lowe said.

"And from there we give them information of what supplies we have such as sand bags and a general report of what's happening on the ground."

Mr Lowe said the choice of disaster for the drill was the right one.

"Because the area is renowned for flooding which is more instant and debilitating initially than say a cyclone," Mr Lowe said.

"A cyclone you can have an idea of what might happen but the chances of loss of human life aren't as high as it would be in a flood," he said.

"The drill is also good for council staff because a great deal of them don't have experience in a disaster management centre, particularly one as technical as this so this gets them comfortable about coming in here in a real disaster."


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