Gas disaster exercise in Tonga, explosion in a school

Emergency crews from Australia are taking part in Tonga’s largest disaster training exercise to test their response to mass casualties.

Firefighters and other emergency personnel routinely respond to emergencies involving gas explosion in a school was part of a four-day drill in Nukuʻalofa this week.

Firefighters, police officers, nurses, medical officers, representatives from Tonga Red Cross and the National Emergency Centre were taking part in the exercise, which involves the Australia’s National and Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre team (NCCTRC).

Trauma Co-ordinator Rhiannon Wake said the training drilled participants so that they could be able to skillfully respond “if there is a mass casualty event, maybe a big cyclone because Tonga seems to have a lot of cyclones lately”.

“As there are lots of injuries they will need to know how to go out and prioritize who gets treated first, also know how to work together, and coordinate how to work on it to get the best care for the patients,” she said.Mass1

“The program also covers a lot of how the agencies can work together, so that the fire can work alongside with the hospital and gives them some organize structures of response to a mass casualties disaster and they are all doing very well and very successful so far.”

“The team is out in the field at the moment planning their response for a big gas explosion that is happening to a school. They are learning to use the radio and ask for what things they need and what they need to build a tent to have all the patients put in.”

The NCCTRC was funded by the Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to deliver training in the Indo- Pacific region.

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