AN industrial accident exercise was carried out in Cork yesterday by the emergency services as a training exercise.
The HSE, Cork City Council, Gardaí, Fire Brigade, National Ambulance Service and Civil Defence took part in the emergency planning exercise which took place at Grassland fertiliser site on the Carrigrohane Straight Road.
In this incident, a truck carrying bales of fertiliser crashed into the onsite gas storage unit sparking a fire and creating toxic fumes. This was the accident that was recreated by members of the emergency services yesterday.
Media liaison officer Sergeant Peter Murphy, who is also head of the emergency control room in Anglesea Street Garda Station, said he was very happy with how the operation was carried out.
“This is the first time we used a volunteer element in the procedure from the Civil Defence. They are a key asset for us, not just here in the city, but across the country as well."
"They provided medical assistance today when we had a medical scenario and they have an awful lot of skills, particularly in the area of first aid and emergency first responding and that added a nice element to what we were doing here today.
“It was also good for them to participate in a full-scale exercise and to actually get a taste of what it might be like."
“The second element that was out of the norm, was to include the media, normally we would have simulated media, reporters asking simulated questions, so it was an added element to have real members of the media asking and behaving in the manner that they normally would which is to seek the questions that the public want to know.”
Sergeant Tony Crockett, from Anglesea Garda Station, took part in the exercise and he said the hardest part of the procedure is collaborating the information at the start when it can be quite patchy.
“That is the hardest, most difficult part. You are trying to confirm stuff and organise your own resources, but after that, we did well, the risk went down, we coordinated our own agencies very well," he said.