Bass Coast,

Bass Coast hosts emergency training

Community Safety Month held throughout October was a busy time for Bass Coast Shire Council, with its Emergency Management Team hosting two training sessions for people from across Gippsland.

Representatives from Gippsland councils, state government departments and support agencies that may be called on to work with people affected by emergencies and disasters were fortunate to have Dr Rob Gordon from the Department of Health and Human Services training them.

Dr Gordon is an expert in the field of personal support and recovery from emergencies.

Council’s Coordinator Emergency Management, James Bremner, said Dr Gordon drew on his extensive first-hand experience to highlight how to assist individuals and whole communities as they rebuild and recover.

“His day-long session included stories and practical examples to help participants understand individual reactions to trauma and grief; and the appropriate response by recovery personnel,” Mr Bremner said.

“He also spoke about new approaches to community engagement during critical phases of recovery.

“The final session of the day was a role play exercise with participants taking on the role of individuals involved in an incident or as someone providing personal support and putting their learnings from the day into practise.”

The second training session was a multi-agency desktop exercise to test the Gippsland Response and Recovery Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Using the scenario of an extreme wind event in Bass Coast, the participants talked together about what they would be doing.

The feedback from this exercise will be the final fine-tune of the SOPs before they are published.

Mr Bremner said the procedures have been developed in a year-long collaborative project by the six Gippsland Councils.

“This key document will be used by all Gippsland Councils to guide their response to an emergency particularly during the response and recovery phases,” Mr Bremner said.

“It means trained staff from the six Councils will be familiar with the same set of procedures and can be called on to support each other in an emergency with relative ease when local resources are extended.”

This document compliments the Gippsland Emergency Relief Centre Standard Operating Procedures.