Cork City Council, An Garda Siochana and Health Service Executive recently exercised their respective Major Emergency plans in accordance with the New Framework for Major Emergency Management.
The exercise was divided into 2 sections. (a) 07/10/008 at the Jack Lynch Tunnel and (b) 16/10/08 at City Hall, Cork.
Three months of work culminated on the night of Tuesday 7th October from 19.30 hrs to 00.30 hrs, when upwards of 120 persons gathered at the Jack Lynch Tunnel in Cork to carry out a Major Emergency Exercise, the first of its kind in the South Region under the New Framework for Major Emergency Management. Organizations that attended / contributed to the exercise were:
- Cork City Council,
- Cork City Fire Brigade,
- Cork City Civil Defence,
- Tunnel Management Building Personnel,
- Tunnel Safety Officers,
- Health Service Executive
- An Garda Siochana
- Cork County Fire & Rescue Service
- Cork County Council,
- Red Cross,
- St. John’s College (Media studies),
- Fitzpatrick’s Recovery Services
- Smoke Concept Systems and various other agencies.
The Major Emergency was declared at 21.30 hrs and Emergency Services arrived shortly where they found a major Road Traffic accident had occurred in the Southbound bore of the tunnel. A Road Tanker, 2 minibuses, 8 cars were involved with a total casualty count of approximately 40 persons which were made up of recruits from Cork city Fire Brigade, An Garda Siochana and Civil Defence / Red Cross members.
Over the hour and a half, the On Site Co-ordination Centre was set up at the tunnel management building and involved the operation of the information management system. The Fire service worked in very difficult conditions involving smoke, heat and noise to remove all casualties, and along with their HSE colleagues, Civil Defence and other Voluntary services delivered all casualties to a casualty clearing station run by the HSE. The Co-ordination centre ran a very efficient process and the information management system worked well on the night. A media briefing was held at the centre towards the end of the exercise. Exercise was completed at approx. 23.15 and a short debrief held for all involved at the Tunnel Management building.