On Saturday 21st May 2016, the Papakura Community Response Group (CRG) gathered at the Papakura Shelter situated in the Papakura Anglican Church.

As part of a regional community resilience program, the CRG were assessing the preparedness of the Papakura Community Group through an emergency exercise.

The following scenario was set: “At 8.30am a southbound freight train and truck collided at a level crossing. The truck being an Owens LPG Tanker has tipped onto its side – it is unknown if the tanker was carrying LPG at the time. Police have started evacuating residents from nearby homes and businesses, by foot, to reduce ignition sources. Civil Defense have called the Papakura CRG to set up an evacuation centre, well out of the danger zone.”

With weather conditions forecasted of southerly winds up to 20kmph, temperature of 9oC, and showers developing into rain, it was important all evacuees were brought to the shelter and cared for.

The CRG set up a headquarters facility, receiving in injured, shocked and displaced actors. Emergency services were on the scene, observing and providing advice where needed – whether it be attending to broken bones, calming the shaken, or providing a hot tea or coffee from Rapid Relief Team (RRT).

Hot drinks and refreshments were a welcoming delight!

Upon completion of the exercise, the debrief began with all groups sharing feedback, and updates. This was well worth it as it shows how the different groups within the community come together in the event of an emergency, and also where any improvements can be made.

The role of the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) was greatly appreciated – serving hot and cold drinks, along with fantastic hamburgers, custom made how you liked it. These were a real hit, as some came back to enjoy seconds and thirds.

A delicious meal served by RRT in Papakura Ready to eat up…some back for seconds and thirds!

In conclusion, it was a great opportunity for the RRT to practice for an effortless operation of serving food for those in need, should the Civil Defense require our assistance in times of an emergency.

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