VICSES volunteers take part in multi-agency evacuation scenario – Exercise Walkaway

VICSES volunteers take part in multi-agency evacuation scenario – Exercise Walkaway

31/08/2022, 4:40 PM

This week volunteers from our VICSES Wyndham and Wyndham West Units worked together with Victoria Police during a simulated exercise scenario called exercise Walkaway.

The exercise involved the simulated evacuation of local residents in Wyndham Vale, as well as a simulated car crash and extraction.

The aim of the exercise was to practice the available options, including the ‘two streets back’ strategy during a peri-urban grassfire and possible evacuation and self-evacuation options for residents.

During the 2019-20 fire season, Victoria faced its most challenging bushfire emergency since the devastating 2009 bushfires, with a geographic scale not seen since 1939. The significant human and property losses, and a range of consequential impacts, are still being experienced.

As a result of the devastating fires, the Inspector General Emergency Management, Victoria (IGEM) was formally requested by the Victorian Government to conduct an inquiry into the bushfire season, with several recommendations made.

One of the recommendations was for the community and the Emergency Management sector reflect on events of the 2019 20 fire season to review and enhance evacuation plans and processes.

As part of this exercise, our VICSES volunteers were involved in the Incident Management Team managing the scenario, as well as volunteers door knocking in the field as part of the evacuation.

This multi-agency exercise was a fantastic way for our members to come together and work as one with other lead agencies, in the event of a mass evacuation. It also provides members with the opportunity to learn new ways in which they can put their volunteer skills to use, and help to save lives.

Well done to our volunteers involved with this exercise scenario, a great way to build on and enhance our skills and continue to support the wider emergency management sector.