GALLERY: Major bus and car 'collision' tests emergency crews
DESPERATE screams for help and sirens filled the air at Beaconsfield today as emergency services responded to a major test - a bus and car 'collision' in which 11 people suffered serious injuries.
Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews arrived on scene to find bloodied and terrified 'victims' who feared for their lives.
While the confronting scene was simulated and the supposed victims simply done-up in gory make-up, and perhaps a bit of tomato sauce, Mackay crews are now well prepared should a similar real situation occur.
The incident, which unfolded at the Mackay Joint Emergency Facility on Beaconsfield Road, was part of a training exercise between QAS and other emergency services and community organisations to prepare and build capability to respond to multi-casualty incidents.
The joint training exercise mimicked a major traffic crash in Mackay involving a school bus containing multiple patients and another vehicle travelling at high speed, and tested the effectiveness of how emergency services would expect to respond to such a significant incident.
QAS Senior Operations Supervisor Shane Tucker said the objective was to create a realistic scenario to provide real time training to professional emergency services crews.
"We had four crews responding to this mock incident and our paramedics needed to assess, triage and treat 11 patients, including adults and children, before transporting them to hospital," Mr Tucker said.
"An incident of this nature requires us to activate our Local Ambulance Coordination Centre and practise forward command and control at the scene.
"In the Mackay region we are well versed in emergencies, particularly major weather events, but there's also the potential for a multi-casualty incident so we need to be ready for any range of scenarios, which is why it is so important to create realistic training exercises.
"Training like this allows us to practice and fine-tune the execution of our procedures and management of multi-casualty incidents and enhance frontline skills and knowledge in a tactical operational environment."
Paramedics from 17 stations across the Mackay Local Ambulance Service Network took part in the exercise including officers from Bowen, Clermont, Hamilton Island, Moranbah, Proserpine, Sarina and Whitsunday.
The exercise also involved Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews.
"It's vital emergency services work together during training exercises to ensure skills are tested and maintained and communication across all agencies is effective," Mr Tucker said.
"Although we work with colleagues from these other agencies every day, testing our response outside of normal operations is another way for the community to have confidence in our processes should an incident occur."
A de-brief was held following the exercise to evaluate and review the execution of processes, procedures and operations.