Mid West Ports Authority Emergency Response Exercise

Published: Wednesday, 3 April 2019 at 10:44:01 AM

Staff deploy a boom

Mid West Ports Authority tested their readiness to respond to a fuel pollution incident in local waters last week after conducting an emergency response training exercise.

With the help of independent assessors, over 20 MWPA staff came together on Thursday to manage a petroleum scenario staged inside the Geraldton Harbour.

MWPA Chief Executive Officer Rochelle Macdonald said exercises like this were vital in testing MWPAs response capability.

“There are many protections already in place to reduce the risk of any marine pollution incidents,” she said.

“However, we have a responsibility to our community, environment and waterways to ensure our readiness to respond at the highest possible standard on the occasion an event like this does take place”

Participants used equipment deployed in a real-life spill scenario, including skimmers and a boom which would be used to contain and remove any fuel or oil from the water.

Svitzer Australia and St John Ambulance were also involved in the exercise, with a simulated medical incident staged on one of the tug boats.

Dr Macdonald said the event was just one of the multi-agency training scenarios MWPA had been involved with.

“Each year we hold our own internal exercises where we try to involve at least one other local agency who might be involved should a real incident ever take place,” she said.

“In addition to this, we recently had MWPA employees attend one of the State’s largest ever oil spill response exercise in Albany, involving 220 participants from 22 organisations.

“While the extensive training we provide our staff will ensure our readiness, hopefully we will never have to put it into practice.”

For more information on MWPAs emergency response preparedness, email communications@midwestports.com.au

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