11 June 2024

Emergency training calls for all hands on deck at Port Kembla harbour

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Emergency services on a boat at Port Kembla.

Emergency services carry out a training exercise at Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Fire & Rescue NSW.

Illawarra emergency services have scrambled to contain a fire on board a car carrier vessel berthed at Port Kembla harbour.

Thankfully the multiagency response was just a training exercise and all involved passed with flying colours.

NSW Fire & Rescue, NSW Police and NSW Ambulance were joined by representatives from the Environment Protection Authority, NSW Ports, AAT, Maritime and tug operator Svitzer for the exercise, which simulated a fire on board a car carrier vessel berthed alongside the AAT terminal in the operational area of the Port Kembla facility.

READ ALSO It’s a sign – Port Kembla Marine Rescue wants you to take care on the water

The training exercise, named Ramping Up, put first responders and port operators through a rigorous simulated fire scenario, testing their emergency response protocols.

Port Authority’s Harbour Master Port Kembla & South Coast Sharad Bhasin said the AAT terminal received more than 400,000 vehicles annually.

“Today’s training exercise highlights how multiple emergency response agencies work collaboratively to ensure we are in the best position to protect people and the environment in the event of an emergency,” Mr Bhasin said.

Emergency services on a small boat next to a car carrier.

Training exercise at Port Kembla Harbour. Photo: Fire and Rescue NSW.

“Everyone involved is highly trained with specialised skills and in the event of a real-life incident, these play a critical role when every second counts.

“By continuing to prepare and practise our skills annually and acting out our emergency protocols and procedures in a realistic scenario, we can plan and evaluate the outcomes and address any opportunities to improve.”

NSW Ports GM Operations and Environment Jonathan Lafforgue said the multiagency drill provided an opportunity to put well established emergency plans into practice, while also enabling agencies to collaborate and share ideas.

“Emergency preparedness is critical to ensure all agencies are familiar with the established processes and understand their role in the event of an incident,” he said.

“While we always hope we don’t need to put these plans into practice in a real-life event, exercises like the one conducted today provide our teams with invaluable experience.”

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