Evacuation exercise to be held this month

Victoria Police, emergency agencies and residents of Powelltown, Three Bridges and Gilderoy are preparing to take part in a bushfire evacuation exercise on Saturday 26 October.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Grainger will be joined by Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp today to formally announce the plans for the exercise.

Victoria Police is assisting the multi-agency scenario exercise, as Victorian emergency services prepare for a warm, busy fire season with the threat of a bushfire being very real.

Victoria Police supports the control agency in a bushfire emergency by implementing evacuation and traffic management plans.

AC Grainger said the exercise will provide an opportunity to test the plans and procedures both emergency services and residents have in place.

“This is a chance for Victoria Police, emergency services and local residents to assess how the area and the people respond to a bushfire threat,” AC Grainger said.

“While Victoria Police is well prepared to undertake an evacuation, the exercise is about testing our preparedness and identifying any opportunities for improvement.

“There will be additional patrols in the area to engage with the community and assist with the evacuation.

“It’s important to remember that in a real emergency with a fast-moving bushfire, police are not always in a position to provide an evacuation alert so residents should ensure they’re well prepared.”

Police and emergency services have been working with Powelltown residents in the lead up to the exercise and encourage them to participate regardless of whether their plan is to stay and defend, leave early or are unprepared.

The evacuation will be held on Saturday 26 October, which will be followed by a community meeting at the Powelltown Football Ground to discuss the learnings from the day.

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