More than 100 emergency services personnel were quick on the scene at the Camperdown train station on Saturday to contend with a major collision between a train and a motor vehicle.
The mock accident was orchestrated to test the response efforts of the district’s emergency services organisations in working together to manage a critical incident.
Victoria State Emergency Serveices (SES)manager regional operations and readiness Andrew Murton said official ‘observers’ were also on hand to gauge the response.
Staged on a siding at the Camperdown station, the accident scenario included a trapped driver in the mangled vehicle, a deceased train driver and numerous injured passengers on board the train.
Mr Murton said the exercise began at 10.30am and continued through until 2pm.
“After the first reports came in of an incident occurring at Camperdown, the response from emergency services was swift and staggered,” he said.
The arrival of emergency services personnel from across the wider district was purposely delayed to reflect accurate, real-time response times.
“After the initial triage of the scene, SES rescue crews commenced the extrication of the trapped casualty from the car,” Mr Murton said.
SES volunteers were required to hold the injured driver’s head and neck still in case of spinal damage and saw a volunteer placed into the rear seat to provide the support.
Fellow members then used the ‘jaws of life’ to free the trapped driver, with support from ambulance personnel.
“SES and CFA volunteers attended to the passengers on the train with the assistance of the V/Line conductor from the train,” Mr Murton said
‘Moulage’ was used to create lifelike injuries for the trapped driver and the injured passengers.
“Passengers on the train had varying ‘fake’ injuries from small cuts and bruises to deep cuts with evident bleeding to ensure our emergency services crews were challenged,” Mr Murton said.
SES personnel comforted the injured passengers until paramedics arrived and stretchered them from the affected rear carriages.
Regular debriefs were staged between all the services involved, with local police maintaining overall command.
Along with Camperdown-based emergency services – extra support was also evident from SES Cobden, Terang and Warrnambool as well as the regional duty officer, along with ambulance support from Cobden and Terang and Ambulance Victoria health commanders.
Corangamite Shire emergency management staff also attended with local members of the Victorian Council of Churches and V/Line personnel.