Kowanyama Emergency Services Put to the Test with Disaster Training Exercise

Sep 20, 2022

Last month, the Local District Disaster Management Group (LDMG) hosted a simulated training exercise at Kowanyama Airport.

Disaster Training Exercise Participants including Council Staff, Airport Staff, Kowanyama Rangers, Queensland Police Service, Rural Fire Service, Kowanyama Primary Health Care Centre, LDMG and JASKO Airport Services

The exercise simulated an emergency landing and provided vital training for first responders in aviation emergencies. This saw Council volunteers acting as injured and distressed passengers who, in the scenario, had just experienced a difficult landing.

“The biggest achievement was the opportunity to test the response of Airport Personnel and first responders in an emergency involving 33 passengers. The exercise also provided the opportunity for all responders to discuss what resources each had and how they could help each other.” said Sheryl de Bruyn, Business Manager at JASKO Airport Services.

With regular weekday commercial flights into Kowanyama Airport from Cairns and Pormpuraaw holding passenger loads of up to 36 plus crew, the potential for a major event involving the transport system is real.

Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council, as the owner/operator of the Kowanyama Airport, has developed an Aerodrome Emergency Plan in accordance with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Regulations.

Pleased with the outcome of the exercise, Sheryl de Bruyn stated, “The strengths were the knowledge and quick activation of the notification procedure and how this works during a power failure. Other strengths were the commitment and engagement of everyone involved and to test their skills and response, and the community spirit which prevails.”

Acting CEO of Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council, Kevin Bell, stated, “Seeing all of the key first responders and stakeholders come together for such a critical training exercise gives Council great confidence that in the event of an emergency, we would be greatly equipped to deal with it.”

These kinds of simulation exercises are crucial for emergency services, supporting organisations, airport, and airline staff.