Simulation exercise underway in Narrabri

05 March 2013

ABC News

Fire and Rescue NSW, the RFS, the VRA, the SES and the Departments of Health and Primary Industries have gathered in Narrabri to improve their co-ordinated response to a storm emergency.

The exercise is being run by the New South Wales Police Simulated Operations Unit.

District Emergency Management Officer, Tony Byrnes, says Narrabri, Gunnedah and Moree Plains Shire Councils are taking part in the simulation.

He says the aim is to prioritise regional responses between agencies to protect life and property.

"We've got the people who are running the exercise and they are pushing all this information out electronically and in the other room we have each of these syndicates divided up into three smaller rooms," he said.

"They are receiving information and they've really got to make decisions based on what's coming from the control people and, while there's a lot of technology, it's really putting the right information out there [that's critical]."

Tony Byrnes says the hypothetical storm event could take place in any town in NSW.

"From my perspective, working as a team in a co-ordinated manner so this event can be controlled and responded to is what is most important," he said.

"Rather than trick people and throw them into the deep end, today is designed to be a 'learn-as-you-go' experience that equips everyone to handle the storm when it really comes."

A similar exercise will be run in Tamworth on Thursday.