Curtin Sarawak builds readiness for emergencies with mock exercise

The first aiders attending to an ‘injured’ student.

Miri – 31 October 2012 – The Malaysian Red Crescent Voluntary Aid Detachment 57 (VAD 57) of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) recently organised a mock exercise to build the readiness of its campus community in the event of emergencies, particularly an outbreak of fire.

The annual exercise was carried out in collaboration with the university management, campus emergency response team and the Miri Fire & Rescue Department. It was also part of the ongoing training activities of the Disaster Management Committee of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, Miri Chapter and the VAD 57.

With the theme ‘Creating Awareness, Inspiring Others’, it was aimed at raising awareness of health and safety issues as well as train staff and students on responding to emergencies on the university campus.

Some students suffering ‘minor injuries’ receiving treatment from first aiders.

According to Curtin Sarawak’s Chief Operating Officer Nicholas Ching, the safety and security of its over 300 staff and 3,500 students is one of the university’s top priorities. He said Curtin Sarawak is in the final stages of developing with Curtin’s main campus in Perth comprehensive emergency response procedures for various types of emergencies that may occur at the campus.

VAD 57 commandant and mock exercise director Phang Kip Loong, meanwhile, said that the mock exercise involving about 100 staff and students helped assess the preparedness of the campus emergency response team, local fire and rescue services as well as the VAD 57 first aiders in responding to a fire emergency on campus.

“The exercise was planned to be as realistic as possible, taking into account a variety of scenarios that might occur during a fire emergency,” said Phang.

During the exercise, the staff and students evacuated the two-storey Prinia 2 Building housing the School of Engineering and Science’s Mechanical Engineering Department and moved to the nearest assembly point.

Staff and students gather at the assembly point.

Within minutes, the VAD 57 first aiders were on the scene and proceeded to help those who were ‘injured’. Half an hour later, the fire brigade arrived and while one team of firemen ‘fought’ the fire, another entered the building to rescue victims who were still ‘trapped’ inside.

A total of 10 ‘casualties’ were evacuated and treated. The ‘fire’, which had broken out in one of the laboratories, was quickly ‘put out’ by the firemen.

Mock exercise field commandant James Lee Yik Hon gave the participants the thumbs up for their support and cooperation. He commented that the exercise was carried out in a orderly and swift manner and that, through the exercise, Curtin Sarawak has raised its readiness level a few notches.

Firemen carrying a ‘casualty’ on a stretcher.

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