Coast emergency services team up for Operation Croc

Surf lifeguards, fire fighters and St John paramedics work together to safely bring the ‘patient’ to land.

For the first time, four Coast emergency services have teamed up to train together.

Staff and volunteers from Police, Silverdale St John, Silverdale Fire Service and Ōrewa Surf Lifesaving Club took part in the exercise, called Operation Crocodile, on November 14.

The hypothetical scenario saw Daniel the dummy impaled on a tree on Crocodile Island in Ōrewa Estuary, due to a parachuting accident gone wrong.

In such a situation, surf lifesavers would transport fire fighters to the island, so they could remove the patient from the tree. St John paramedics would be on hand to see to the patient’s medical needs, and to transport them to hospital.

Police are the overseers of land and maritime search and rescue operations, which is why if an incident like this did occur, people should call Police first. Police then bring in other services.

Senior firefighter Jim McLean says the Estuary was an ideal location to stage a scenario that included all four services.

“There are instances where our emergency services can’t operate in isolation,” he says.

“The training helps ensure that when this does happen, we can work together to remove the patient from their predicament as safely and efficiently as possible.”

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