Exercise Team Spirit

  Comment Banner Dec 2009

Exercise Team Spirit

Many staff from across the SAFECOM sector were involved in Exercise Team Spirit which is an annual event that tests the State's emergency management arrangements in the lead up to the summer season.

The scenario for this year was the prevailing weather conditions being similar to those experienced on Black Saturday that culminated in eight mock bushfires burning across six CFS regions.

Exercise director Allan McDougall is to be commended for coordinating this large exercise that successfully identified a number of areas for improvement. Following the exercise, Allan presented the findings and recommendations to the State Emergency Management Committee which is chaired by the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC).

To highlight the scale of this exercise, all CFS Regional Coordination Centres were activated as well as the CFS State Control Centre. A special meeting of the Emergency Management Council, which is chaired by the Premier, was held and the State Emergency Centre (SEC) was fully activated with the 14 Functional Services identified in the State Emergency Management Plan.

The exercise also tested the interaction between the SEC and the DPC State Crisis Centre.

The Adelaide Hills Council conducted a discussion exercise based on the Team Spirit scenario and the Department of Families and Communities held a State Recovery Committee meeting to consider the recovery issues from the exercise that culminated in loss of lives and multiple homes and businesses being destroyed.

There have been learnings for all areas involved which highlights the success of Team Spirit 09. Interestingly, one of the recommendations is to be vigilant in the use of terminology and to avoid acronyms during an emergency. For example a threat to ABC was identified at the SEC as Adelaide Brighton Cement instead of ABC radio.

There are too many people across the SAFECOM sector to thank personally, but in general the keen interest and participation by all those involved has enabled important lessons to be identified that will benefit whole of government emergency management planning and preparedness into the future.

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