Images Supplied - TRC / Fire and Emergency Services officers inspect the Beechcraft King Air at the Joint Emergency Services Training Exercise 2017 at Toowoomba City Aerodrome.
It might have been a mock emergency, but this week’s Toowoomba City Aerodrome training exercise was treated as if it were a real incident.
A full field crash simulation unfolded for the Joint Emergency Services Training Exercise (JESTEX) 2017 on the Aerodrome’s grass runway. (which was closed to all operations for the duration of the exercise)
Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Acting Mayor and Infrastructure Services Committee chair Cr Carol Taylor said Council was required to stage regular emergency exercises to comply with Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulations.
Cr Taylor said the aim of the day was to practise the implementation of the Toowoomba City Aerodrome Emergency Plan.
Cr Taylor said Council was the owner and operator of the Aerodrome and had a responsibility to stage a training exercise to check regulatory procedures.
“An important aspect of today’s mock emergency is the chance for all emergency services and other agencies to be involved in a full field exercise,” Cr Taylor said.
“The exercise offers invaluable training for all support services to practise and later evaluate the effectiveness of the inter-agency response, coordination and communication on the day.
“While this is a training exercise, the Aerodrome was operating as normal. It is a busy regional Aerodrome within a built-up area and Council has to ensure all our procedures are in place in the event of a real emergency.
“The training day underlined the importance of clear lines of communication and showed the value of teamwork between all parties.”
The day had an added level of reality thanks to the donation of a Beechcraft King Air by Easternwell.
Cr Taylor said Council was especially grateful to the Toowoomba-based firm for the loan of a real aircraft for the exercise.
“Previously, these exercises have used a variety of small road vehicles in place of an aircraft, which detracts from the real-life scenario,” Cr Taylor said.
“Easternwell’s offer of the aircraft allows us to give all personnel a chance to experience assessing the incident and then recovering the volunteers from a real aircraft.”
Observers from respective agencies attended the exercise to check the co-ordination and effectiveness of the response.
TRC Acting Mayor and Infrastructure Services Committee chair Cr Carol Taylor with Toowoomba Hospital Emergency Preparation coordinator Aiden Cook (left) and University of Queensland Rural Clinical School fourth year medical students Will Hopson, Alexander Lu, Jake Brennan, Hugh McConville and Jack Williams at the Joint Emergency Services Training Exercise at Toowoomba City Aerodrome.