Victoria Deputy Premier Peter Ryan
Victoria Minister for Police Emergency Services and Bushfire Response Peter Ryan
Simulated Disaster Sees Victoria’s Refurbished State Control Centre Put To The Test
Victor P Taffa
Victoria’s newly refurbished and redesigned State Control Centre (SCC) will be put to the test today as Victoria’s fire services simulate battle with major fires in an exercise designed to test the state’s emergency management arrangements.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Bushfire Response Peter Ryan said the SCC is the hub that supports regional and local incident control during major emergencies.
The State Fire Exercise (SFE) builds on 20 regional and state-based multi-agency exercises already completed as part of bushfire season preparation across Victoria.
Mr. Ryan said the SFE tested the response of fire services and other agencies through a series of simulated urban fringe and regional fires. The integrated response involves 40 agencies including Ambulance Victoria, VicSES and Victoria Police.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is fostering closer collaboration between emergency services agencies to ensure emergency situations are well managed.” Mr. Ryan said.
“This exercise addresses one of the main recommendations of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission for agencies to train and prepare for major incidents together.”
The SCC supports incident control during major emergencies including storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, major rescue/building collapse, major fire, marine pollution, exotic marine pest incursion and issues with major water supply.
“The refurbishment has involved relocating some of the units such as planning, logistics, intelligence and public information to improve information flow and efficiency, and ensure that the latest ‘live’ information from around the state is available.” Mr. Ryan said.
“Now there are eight dedicated hubs which all contribute different intelligence and information, so our decision makers have the fullest possible picture. The centre is now fully equipped with the resources, tools and technology needed to effectively manage state level operations.”
“Practice makes perfect and this exercise provides opportunities for fine tuning the State’s response to emergencies, as well as testing roles and responsibilities.”
This year, the exercise focuses on the effectiveness of the systems and processes in the refurbished State Control Centre and the compliance of bushfire management arrangements with the state emergency management arrangements and the State Bushfire Plan.