Multi-agency emergency exercise in Sydney Olympic Park

An emergency management exercise will be carried out today (Wednesday 26 June 2019) at Sydney Olympic Park to test emergency management arrangements in case of a major flooding incident.

Exercise Deerubbin is a state-based multi-agency emergency management exercise which will commence at 9am and conclude at 3pm.

The exercise is being conducted to test emergency management arrangements in the event if a major flood in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.

The exercise will involve more than 25 NSW government agencies and volunteer organisations, including NSW Police Force, State Emergency Service (SES), the Bureau of Meteorology, Office of Emergency Management, Transport NSW, and NSW Health.

Today’s exercise is part of the ongoing review process of emergency arrangements and testing them to ensure they are robust and flexible.

It will involve an estimated 500 role-players and emergency service responders within the Sydney Olympic Park precinct.

NSW Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Peter Thurtell APM, said the exercise will be one of the largest conducted at Sydney Olympic Park.

“The arrangements which are being tested today include the activation, establishment and decommissioning of a mass care facility at Sydney Olympic Park,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Thurtell said.

“The exercise is designed to test the process of reception, registration and triaging of people affected by a major flood emergency across western Sydney.

“It is important for the public to know that we continually review our emergency plans with our partner agencies and volunteer organisations, and today’s exercise is part of that process.

“Having these plans in place provides police and emergency service organisations with the guidance required in a range of events, including ones which may result in casualties,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Thurtell said.

NSW State Emergency Service (SES), Commissioner Kyle Stewart, said that as the lead agency for floods, the NSW SES partners with other emergency services to ensure that appropriate plans are in place and exercised should a major flood occur in the Hawkesbury Nepean Valley.

“We need to ensure our plans are exercised, as they assist in ensuring all emergency services are ready should a natural disaster like this occur,” Commissioner Stewart said.

Members of the public who reside near, travel around, or are planning to come to Sydney Olympic Park today should be aware that they might see a significant amount of emergency services personnel and vehicles.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Thurtell said anyone in the area should not be concerned as this is an exercise only.

“Exercise Deerubbin is about engaging with the public, to demonstrate that if there was ever an incident of this nature, that we are ready to implement a co-ordinated all-agency response,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Thurtell said.

“The public should take comfort knowing that we don’t just have plans, but that we test these plans with all agencies in realistic and real-time settings.

“It is our priority to deliver the highest levels of safety and security for the community, stakeholders and staff, and to ensure we are fully prepared in the unlikely case of an emergency,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Thurtell said.

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