Wodonga Council hosts Emergency Relief Exercise at the Exhibition Centre

Wodonga Council hosted an Emergency Relief Centre training exercise at the recently redeveloped Exhibition Centre on Tuesday, June 18.

The session was attended by council officers as well as representatives from Wodonga Police, Racing Wodonga, the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, Red Cross, the Municipal Emergency Planning Committee, Emergency VCC, Salvation Army and Jeff Cave Agriculture Victoria.

The objective of the exercise was to assess the council’s capacity to set up and operate an emergency relief centre (ERC), test standard operating procedures and to affirm the suitability of the Exhibition Centre as an ERC.

Wodonga Council’s Emergency Management Coordinator Paul Leddy said the exercise played an important role in ensuring the council and Exhibition Centre’s readiness in the instance of an emergency.

“The ERC training is conducted in a functional format, meaning we use real-life scenarios to test the proficiency of specific functions,” he said.

“In recent years in Wodonga alone we have experienced a pandemic and multiple weather-related events, including strong winds, bushfires and flooding.

“During these moments, we need to be certain that the ERC is a suitable location and option for those seeking assistance.

“Following the adoption of the Exhibition Centre as the location of Wodonga’s ERC, it was critical that it was tested to ensure site readiness and familiarity.

“In the event of an emergency, things move really quickly. Those with a role within emergency management need to be well-versed in setting up and operating the ERC, as well as being comfortable doing so in a fast-paced and high-pressure environment.

“We thank the representatives from the various organisations present today; each play a critical role in Wodonga’s emergency management and their attendance reinforced the value of the training session.”

The Exhibition Centre was redeveloped in 2023, with the works made possible through the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program.

For more on Wodonga emergency management, including the Municipal Emergency Management Plan, visit https://www.wodonga.vic.gov.au/Services/Safety-Health-and-Wellbeing/Emergency-management

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