Large disaster exercise at port

3rd October 2007, Comments 0 comments

3 October 2007, THE HAGUE – Rotterdam Port will be the scene of a large national disaster exercise on Wednesday. About 2,000 local leaders, officials and relief workers from the police, fire brigade and medical service will take part. Hundreds of people will play the victims and public.

3 October 2007

THE HAGUE – Rotterdam Port will be the scene of a large national disaster exercise on Wednesday. About 2,000 local leaders, officials and relief workers from the police, fire brigade and medical service will take part. Hundreds of people will play the victims and public.

The exercise, which has been dubbed Voyager, will simulate an accident which claims many victims. There is also a terrorist threat and chemical substances must be tackled. Both the responsible ministers in The Hague and the authorities in Rotterdam have to make decisions on dealing with the crisis.

Voyager is comparable to the terrorism exercise Bonfire, which was held in and around the Amsterdam Arena in April 2005. A large-scale exercise is planned once every two years in order to heighten preparation for disasters and crises. These exercises should indicate whether the authorities and relief workers can cooperate smoothly, whether they follow the correct procedures, and whether information is exchanged successfully.

Besides ministries, the municipality of Rotterdam and operational services, the provinces of Zuid Holland and security, intelligence and communication organisations will also take part. The Red Cross, for instance, is responsible for sheltering and treating victims during disasters.

Although many relief services will be involved, the normal availability of ambulances, police and fire brigade will be guaranteed, the ministry of home affairs insists. If an actual disaster were to occur, the exercise can be called off and the relief workers will be ready for deployment.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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