Bass Coast,

Preparing For Evacuation


Aged care facilities in Bass Coast took the opportunity to learn more about planned and unplanned evacuations at a session run by Bass Coast Shire Council recently.

The session was hosted by the Municipal Health and Medical Sub Committee on behalf of the Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee.

Ambulance Victoria South Coast Group Manager and presenter at the event, Eddie Wright, spoke to representatives from six aged care facilities, providing practical examples of pre-planning to assist in an emergency evacuation of a facility.

Council’s Acting General Manager Healthy Communities, Jamie Sutherland, said Mr Wright brought his experience from planned and unplanned evacuations due to flood, fire, storm and earthquake in Victoria and elsewhere in Australia.

“Mr Wright recommended that there are clear roles and responsibilities during an evacuation in the facility’s Emergency Management Plan, especially participation in the Emergency Management Team and linked to the transport of clients,” Mr Sutherland said.

“The incorporation of the facility manager into the Emergency Management Team provides expert local knowledge of the facility and the clients.

Mr Sutherland said Mr Wright also emphasised the need for Ambulance Victoria and aged care facilities to work together.

“Facility staff involved in the planning and transport of clients with Ambulance Victoria means that friends can be transported together and the travel arrangements meet the capability or needs of the client,” Mr Sutherland said.

“It also helps to reduce the stress on clients as they are processed by familiar faces.”

Other tips for aged care facilities included having:

  • clearly labelled bags for clients’ clothes and medications, including a photo of the client. This could be as simple as a laminated information sheet stapled onto a bag.
  • an up-to-date list of clients and next of kin contact details
  • a working relationship with other aged care facilities in the area to know who could take evacuated clients if required

Other attendees included Council Officers and representatives from Ambulance Victoria and the Department of Health.

A follow up desk top exercise session is planned to review the aged care facilities’ preparedness to evacuate