Emergency response drills resume at Yarraville Terminal

Yarraville Terminal recently held full scale practical emergency response drills for the first time since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. 

Yarraville Terminal recently resumed full scale practical emergency response drills for the first time since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place in Victoria. 

The first event was a smaller drill which took place in mid-June to test the capabilities of fire hoses at the terminal.  This was important to ensure that the Yarraville team members were reminded of their roles in an emergency.

The second event on 30 June was significantly larger in scale and involved participants from multiple organisations whose responses in a real life emergency situation would be crucial. 

Participants included teams from the Port of Melbourne, Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV), Oil Response Company of Australia (ORCA), as well as the fuel tanker vessel which was docked at the port and Department of Transport staff members who were there to observe the exercises. Staff from Esso and the Altona Terminal also attended.

“We are always impressed with the level of engagement we receive from emergency services and equally the opportunity to collaborate with interfacing authorities,” said Assistant Terminal Manager David Barker.

“It was a real bonus to have folks off shift attend as part of training, as well as Altona and Esso representatives join us for what was a sunny and eventful day of practicing our emergency response capabilities.” 

Three core exercises were carried out:

• A spill to water scenario with ORCA deploying the spill booms and FRV utilising their fire boat to respond.
• Fire at the dockside perimeter area with FRV utilising both their fire boat and trucks to respond.
• Tank top fire with FRV deploying their booster and ladder platform truck in conjunction with the terminal fire water deluge system.

The drills proved the effectiveness of our emergency response plans and our team’s ability to implement them, as well as providing some learnings about how our response worked in practice.

These learnings included:

• Confirmation of the process around ORCA’s spill response team arriving by boat from Williamstown boat ramp and deploying the spill booms.
• Ascertained FRV’s additional capabilities to deal with a spill to water scenario using their fire boat.
• Identified alternate access points FRV can use depending on the scenario conditions.
• The ladder platform truck could also be used for rescues at heights if required, with a reach greater than our highest tank.

“It was a really valuable exercise for all involved as we successfully demonstrated our team’s ability to effectively deploy a spill response, test our own and FRV’s firefighting capabilities and familiarise all interfacing parties with an emergency response to these scenarios.” David said.

“A big thank you to all who took time out to be a part of the day and for making it such a success.”