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Marine capability to be tested in Docklands emergency exercise

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21 May 2014
Fifty firefighters will take part in a multi-agency exercise at Docklands tomorrow to test the city’s response to an emergency in Docklands.

Exercise Afloat is an important field deployment exercise taking place on a major marina, coordinated by Victoria Police, MFB, Ambulance Victoria, VICSES, Departments of Health and Human Services and the City of Melbourne.

The exercise will involve a collision on Victoria Harbour between Melbourne showboat The Lady Cutler and a cabin cruiser that leads to a fire on the water and triggers a major response.

Above: MFB's FireBoat 1 will be used during the exercise

As part of the exercise, MFB will deploy five pumpers, an ultra-large pumper, teleboom, rescue unit, breathing apparatus unit and other specialist equipment and personnel, including Fire Boat 1 and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

To ensure the scene is as close to reality as possible incidents such as dummies going overboard and special effects including billowing smoke will be used. Participants will also role play situations such as receiving first aid.

MFB Marine Commander Steve Watts said the exercise would enable MFB to evaluate the effectiveness of emergency responders.

"We regularly conduct training exercises to ensure our staff are well prepared for any emergency they may face," he said.

"The Port of Melbourne is the busiest container port in all of Australia.  With the growing population around Docklands, this exercise allows all agencies to determine how best to respond to any major incident in the area."

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