FRONTLINE emergency services and port operators honed their incident response skills at the Port Authority of NSW multi-agency training exercise on Friday (7 June).

The exercise was held at Port Kembla’s AAT terminal, testing the participants’ understanding of emergency response protocols with a rigorous simulated fire scenario.

Port Kembla and Southern Coast harbour master Sharad Bhasin said multiple emergency response agencies worked collaboratively to ensure they are in the best position to protect people and the environment in the event of an emergency.

“Everyone involved is highly trained with specialised skills and in the event of a real-life incident, these play a critical role when every second counts,” he said.

“By continuing to prepare and practice our skills annually and acting out our emergency protocols and procedures in a realistic scenario, we can plan and evaluate the outcomes and address any opportunities to improve.”

Participants in the exercise included representatives from NSW emergency services such as fire and rescue, police, and ambulance, as well as the Environment Protection Authority, NSW Ports, AAT and Svitzer.

NSW Ports Jonathan Lafforgue said: “Emergency preparedness is critical to ensure all agencies are familiar with the established processes and understand their role in the event of an incident.

“While we always hope we don’t need to put these plans into practice in a real-life event, exercises like the one conducted today provide our teams with invaluable experience.”

Mr Lafforgue said the multi-agency drill provided an opportunity to put well-established emergency plans into practice, while also enabling agencies to collaborate and share ideas.