An emergency training exercise in the Northbridge Tunnel involved Main Roads, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Department of Environment Regulation, WA Police and DMP.
|Date:||Tuesday, 08 December 2015|
Last month a van transporting dangerous goods was involved in a three-car crash which shut down Perth’s Northbridge Tunnel for seven hours.
Luckily for road users, the incident was just part of a multi-agency training exercise designed to test the capacity of first responders and government agencies.
The mock emergency training exercise involved Main Roads, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Department of Environment Regulation, WA Police and DMP.
Principal Dangerous Goods Officer Peter Xanthis said a van involved in the crash was transporting methyl bromide, a toxic gas, which started leaking.
“There was no placarding on the vehicle so emergency responders had no idea that there could be toxic gas involved,” Mr Xanthis said.
Even though it was just a training exercise, Mr Xanthis said it highlights the importance of placarding vehicles when they are transporting dangerous goods
“It just gives emergency responders a heads up that dangerous goods may be involved and they can take the appropriate precautions such as using breathing apparatus or chemical spill suits,” he said.
Mr Xanthis said the department observed the scenario on the day and provided feedback during the debrief.
“We were impressed with their professionalism and skills on the day,” he said.
“They’re on the frontline dealing with incidents every day and they did a very good job in the enclosed environment of the tunnel.”
Mr Xanthis said training operations were absolutely essential to prepare emergency services for real life incidents.
“It allows multiple agencies to look at areas that can be improved and put plans in place before a real life incident occurs,” he said.
“It is also an opportunity to learn from the experience in a safe environment.”