Fiery mock-crash tests responders
RAAF Base Richmond personnel exercised their emergency response at a mock-crash site that looked good enough for a movie set.
A burgundy Holden was set on fire with a casualty trapped inside to test the skills of the base’s first responders.
The No. 22 Squadron firefighting team quickly extinguished the flames and set to work freeing the injured driver.
Corporal Justin Whalan led the rescue effort and said the exercise gave crew an insight on what to expect in an emergency on the base.
“It exposes them to pressure and operating in a space they’re not comfortable with outside of their normal training environment,” Corporal Whalan said.
The casualty in the scenario was a dummy, but the choreography to deal with injuries in the confined space of the car was real, measured and deliberate.
The scenario was also designed so the crew had to stabilise the victim before removing them from the wreckage.
“There’s a misconception that you need to be going fast to recover someone – we need to understand and mitigate the hazards,” Corporal Whalan said.
“If you commit too quick you could be part of the danger and that doesn’t help the casualty.”
Military police and members of No. 1 Security Forces Squadron played their part closing roads, managing traffic and securing the scene.
Industrial-sized metal cutters were used to cut the door of the Holden to free the casualty and medical teams quickly treated the injured driver.
Corporal Whalan said the exercise went well.
“I think things went relatively smoothly and there was good communication back and forth,” he said.
This exercise is an example of how No. 22 Squadron continually test the capability of their first responders.