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50 shades of fluoro

05 Jun 2014

50 shades of fluoro Image

It was a cast of hundreds who turned out in every imaginable shade of fluoro to save Docklands from an imaginary disaster on May 22.

There was no shortage of garden-variety coppers, ambos, SES and firies.   But “Exercise Afloat” also attracted hoards of more exotic emergency services species, including controllers, umpires, commanders, observers, rescuers, safety officers, health protectors, and EMLOs (whatever they are!).

Some participants were happy to play along with the make-believe while others (like the police officer who kicked Docklands News off the dock because of imaginary potential explosion) took it all very seriously indeed.

Under the scenario, former Sydney ferry Lady Cutler had sliced through a cabin cruiser next to Melbourne City Marina in Victoria Harbour.

Fire and explosions followed and at least two “victims” were dropped into the drink.  Bandaged and blanketed survivors huddled together on the wharf awaiting instructions and treatment.

And, while the exercise had a carnival flavour, it had a deadly serious purpose.

“Exercise Afloat” aimed to test skills of emergency services, the City of Melbourne and the Department of Health and Human Services.

“We have worked with the emergency services to create a scenario that is as close to reality as possible and can be played out in real time,” Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said.

“As a major capital city it is critical that we plan ahead and test our capabilities to respond to emergency situations in a coordinated and efficient manner.”

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