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Malahide Exercise 16th April 2011

A large scale “simulated” flood exercise took place in Broadmeadow Estuary this morning. The exercise was under the direction of ACFO R.Hedderman Dublin Fire Brigade.

There was a large attendance of emergency services vehicles from DFB, Dublin Civil Defence, Gardaí and Irish Coast Guard. There were 3 cars in the flood waters with trapped motorists on the roofs, these were rescued by crews using DFB and CD floating “Airtrax” platforms.

Further casualties were located under the M1 bridge in the Broadmeadow River. Rescue crews from all of the rescue agencies worked together to rescue all trapped persons.

There were also 10 people trapped on the north shoreline,cut off by the flood waters, these were rescued by Civil Defence and Coast Guard boats.

The Coast Guard also organised a foot search of the north shoreline.

The Coast Guard helicopter carried out an aerial search of the estuary and then landed on the pitch of the rugby club.

All casualties were brought to a triage tent and checked by DFB advanced paramedics and a doctor, those requiring treatment were transferred by ambulance to hospital, the others were registered at a rest centre in the Malahide Rugby club and given a hot drink and food by Civil Defence.

The Dublin Fire Brigade Incident Command Unit was in attendance and ran the control of the incident, with the Civil Defence Incident Command Unit beside it used for regular meetings and updates from the senior officers from the 3 agencies in the rescue.

The co-operation between all crews involved was first class and useful lessons were learnt by everybody, it was particularly useful for the volunteers of Civil Defence and Coast Guard to work with the professionals from The Gardaí and Dublin Fire Brigade and get used to the Command and Control procedures.

Fingal Co.Co. helped in the setting up of the exercise and a number of senior management from the council were present to observe the exercise. This exercise came from a pilot project to look into a response to water related emergencies in the Fingal area, it is hoped to extend this to other areas in the Greater Dublin area in the future.

Bill Powderly
Asst. Civil Defence Officer