Collaborative approach to disaster planning

Celebrating a new agreement which will simplify aircraft processes in a disaster are Emergency...
Celebrating a new agreement which will simplify aircraft processes in a disaster are Emergency Management Otago group manager Matt Alley (left) and Fire and Emergency New Zealand region manager Mike Grant at Otago Helicopters in Mosgiel yesterday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
A new agreement will allow emergency aircraft to get to work quicker and more efficiently in the event of a disaster.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Emergency Management Otago and Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) outlined a framework for how the organisations would collaborate on region-wide air operations in emergencies.

Emergency Management Otago group manager Matt Alley said the emergency response sector was "incredibly" complex, but the new agreement would remove a lot of the early stage management when a disaster struck.

"Trying to pull together those complex systems on the fly is definitely not desirable," he said

Fenz region manager Mike Grant said it made sense for Fenz large aircraft management specialists to be available to Civil Defence during emergencies, for which the memorandum would provide the framework.

The plan would prioritise aerial inspections of infrastructure and lifeline utilities, particularly after a severe earthquake having regional impacts.

It would also enable emergency management personnel access to remote or hard-hit areas as soon as possible, he said.

The agreement is part of the new aviation emergency support plan developed with regional airport and aviation operators over the past 18 months.

wyatt.ryder@odt.co.nz

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