A scenario involving a derailed train, crashed school bus and truck carrying hazardous material has been used to teach health staff how to deal with major emergencies.
Seventeen doctors, nurses, mental health workers and administration staff from across the Murrumbidgee Local Health District used a table-top model train to help visualise how the crash would be handled during the annual major incident medical management support training course, held in Wagga on Friday.
Disaster manager for the MLHD Denise Garner said the exercise was "about teaching our staff how things work at a major incident", with topics covered including command and control, safety, communication, assessment, triage, treatment and transport in disaster management.
"All the people doing this course today could potentially be deployed outside the hospital in an emergency," Ms Garner said.
"We need them to understand how they need to interact with other agencies. They're also going to learn about radio communications and the type of language they will need to use. You'll hear a lot of things being spelled in the NATO phonetic alaphabet today.
"This is a course that can also enable them to go on and do AUSMAT."
AUSMATt - or Australian Medical Assistance Teams - are multi-disciplinary health teams incorporating doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters and allied health staff such as environmental health staff, radiographers and pharmacists who can rapidly respond to a disaster zone and provide life-saving treatment to casualties, in support of the local health response.
Friday was the first time the major incident medical management support training course was taught in Wagga.
Previously, MLHD staff have had to go to Sydney to complete their qualification.
"Last year, we explored the option of bringing instructors into our district and running it here and being able to have more people on the course, so it's just opened up opportunities for Murrumbidgee staff," Ms Garner said.