'Explosive' disaster exercise to hit Warwick
A HUGE team of emergency service personally will stage one of the largest multi-agency training events in regional Queensland at the Warwick Waste Facility this afternoon.
From 4pm until midnight, fire fighters, police, paramedics and SES volunteers from around the state will be called respond to a disaster which will require them to cut through concrete to recover bodies.
They will be role-playing a gas explosion of Rose City Shoppingworld using concrete rubble from the Warwick dump.
QFES Anzac Avenue station officer Shane Cartwright said the event was designed to see how a regional town like Warwick would cope in a major emergency.
"We haven't ever run an exercise to this scale in regional Queensland before," he said.
"This is a rare scenario that would overwhelm a local community as far as rescue ability goes.
"It's a chance to expose staff to so many new scenarios that they may not have been exposed to before."
High-tech equipment for cutting concrete will be used in the operation, allowing staff and volunteers to improve their skills and experience.
The training experience will bring around 72 people and equipment from the Gold Coast, North coast, Brisbane, Toowoomba and Southern Downs regions to Warwick.
Senior Warwick firefighter Brett Farrell said there would be minimal disturbance to the community.
"There will be a little bit of noise and a few more emergency service vehicles around, but it will be minimal," he said.
A spokesperson from Southern Downs Regional Council said the Warwick Waste Facility will still be open for normal operations until 5pm.
Mr Cartwright thanked the council for its help and cooperation with the training event.
For more information contact Shane Cartwright on 0438 506 929 and Brett Farrell on 0417 606 905.