12.3 ℃

Different authorities practised responding to a plane crash in Lake Ülemiste during a cooperation exercise on 6 September


On Wednesday, 6 September, a cooperation exercise took place in and around Lake Ülemiste, where different authorities and companies could practise dealing with victims in the event of a plane crash. The other participants in the exercise in addition to Tallinn Airport were the Northern Rescue Centre of the Rescue Board, the Emergency Response Centre, the Police and Border Guard Board, Tallinn Ambulance, AS Tallinna Vesi and Lennuliiklusteeninduse AS.

Silver Luik, Head of Airport Emergency Services and the main organiser of the exercise, said that during the three-hour exercise, the participants practiced responding to the accident, search and rescue, spill containment and general crisis management. “Constant practice and ensuring preparedness in important to the airport in order to respond quickly to potential incidents and accidents. This is why we consider it important to organise various exercises and training sessions, in which our good cooperation partners also participate,” said Luik, adding that yesterday’s exercise once again confirmed that in the event of a real incident, rapid and professional assistance is guaranteed and the clear goal is to save lives.

“The major exercise Splash II went very smoothly from the viewpoint of the rescuers and its goals were achieved,” said Mariann Mäeots, Chief Specialist of the Bureau of Rescue Work of the Rescue Centre of the Northern Rescue Centre. “Exercises such as these are essential to practice communication between the authorities during a crisis and major incidents, and to give our rescue teams as much practice as possible. They gained a new experience, which will minimise damage to people, property and the environment in real-life situations. As the saying goes – what is difficult in training will become easy in a battle.”

“The exercise was exciting and special for the Police and Border Guard Board,” said Raavo Järva, Head of the Tallinn Border Station. “Mostly because we’ve done similar exercises mainly at sea, but this time we were able to tackle a complex situation on an inland body of water with our partners. During the exercise, we were able to practice everything important and we certainly made a number of observations on what and how we could do even better in the future. The cooperation with the partners went well and the exercise was certainly useful in order to be better prepared for such complex events in the future and to deal with them more skilfully.”

“This is a very important exercise for Tallinna Vesi, despite the fact that we already have real experience of a similar crisis in 2010,” said Aare Niiberg, Chief Catchment Coordinator at AS Tallinna Vesi. “This time, we could practice the crisis with even more participants, which increases the effectiveness of cooperation and is one of the most important success factors in a crisis. As we’re a vital service provider, we need to keep our crisis preparedness at a high level, and large-scale exercises give us an important indication of our actual preparedness.”

“The exercise provided a good opportunity for Lennuliikluse AS to test how well we’ve been able to think through responding to such situations in our crisis management plans and how the different parties could support each other as much as possible,” said Kristjan Telve, Head of Safety and Quality Department at Lennuliikluse AS. “There are certainly a number of useful lessons to take away from this exercise, which will help increase our preparedness for such crises.”

The Emergency Response Centre is the first link in the chain of assistance, as it answers 112 calls and dispatches help. “The role of the Emergency Response Centre in the exercise is to practise receiving emergency calls and making threat assessments, as well as dispatching ambulances and rescue forces,” said Anne-Liis Taalmann, Head of the Northern Centre of the Emergency Response Centre. “In our work, cooperation and communication with partner agencies is key to getting the right help to the right person as quickly as possible. The logistics of operational resources for such a large-scale event are complex and the exercise gives us the opportunity to practice all of this.”

Pictures of the exercise can be found here. Photos by Aron Urb.

A cooperation exercise took place on and around Lake Ülemiste on 6 September, where the other participants in addition to Tallinn Airport were the Northern Rescue Centre of the Rescue Board, the Emergency Response Centre, the Police and Border Guard Board, Tallinn Ambulance, AS Tallinna Vesi and Lennuliiklusteeninduse AS. The exercise included practicing incident response and inter-agency cooperation, search and rescue of passengers and crew both on water and on land, identification of casualties, localisation of fuel and oil spills, and general crisis management at the level of and between agencies.

Photo: Aron Urb