Operation Fadimeha “Be Alert” held in Bloemfontein Free State
Operation Fadimeha “Be Alert” was held in Bloemfontein Free State on the evening of 28 February 2019 on the N1 near Windmill Casino. The simulation scenario started at approximately 17h50, when a light aircraft, ZS-MCI, was attempting an emergency landing on the N1 northbound on the south side of the Curie Avenue overpass. On touching down, the aircraft jumped and the starboard wingtip hit the ground, causing it to tumble over the median into the oncoming traffic in the southbound lane. A 26-seater bus carrying international tourists from Johannesburg to Cape Town lost control and rolled over. It ended up in the Southeast off-ramp open area. The aircraft collided with a light motor vehicle travelling behind the bus. A second bus collided then into the scene due to a medical condition of the bus driver. Gladly there were no passengers on the second bus.
Post-incident critiques often confirm that experience gained during exercises was the best way to prepare teams to respond effectively to an emergency. Exercises should be designed to engage team members and get them working together to manage the response to a hypothetical incident. Exercises enhance knowledge of plans, allow members to improve their own performance and identify opportunities to improve capabilities to respond to real events.
The Free State Road Incident Management System (RIMS) working committee have decided to plan a mass-casualty incident, which was deﬁned as an event that generates more patients at onetime than locally available resources can manage, using routine procedures or resulting in a number of victims large enough to disrupt the normal course of emergency and health care services and would require additional non-routine assistance.
Regardless of how the RIMS system program was managed by all the departments in the Free State, the ultimate test of the program's value lies in how well it was and helped the Emergency serveries to be ready and deliver to the public for any consequences of a mass causality incidents that my accrue in our Free State Provence .
The Free State RIMS working committee have realised from the beginning that this exercise is an instrument to train for, assess, practice, and improve performance in prevention, protection, response, and recovery capabilities in a risk-free environment.
During the planning stage they planned to test and validating our policies, plans, procedures, training, equipment, and interagency agreements and identifying gaps in resources; improving individual performance; and identifying opportunities for improvement.
The working team also realised that the process of evaluation should be part of a continuous learning and continuous quality improvement program, not a one-time snapshot ones a year proses. This implies a continuing relationship between the emergency services and their evaluators that includes financial as well as technical and educational support.
Free State Department of Health’s Julius Fleishman said, “The exercise planning process did involve a considerable coordination among participating role players and key staff. Our planning process included how to manage the project, forming a planning team, conducting planning meetings, identifying exercise design objectives, developing the scenario and documentation, assigning logistical tasks, and identifying the evaluation approach.”
“We must say that the Full Scale Exercise was a complex step in the exercise cycle. We tussled in the first 10 minutes to achieve many facets of the emergency response action plans, critical thinking, rapid problem solving and procedures. The planning team visited the exercise site as we realised that it is particularly important for functional exercises in our setup for the exercise; we planned for an assembly area, response route, response operations area, parking, registration, observer/ media accommodation,” said Fleishman
The exercise was well structured, realistic and well organised by the Free State RIMS working Committee and the exercise was properly planned, executed and designed to accomplish the objectives identified. The exercise was educational and all co-players had an understanding their roles in a MCI response. The facilitator(s) were knowledgeable about their tasks, responsibilities, kept the exercise on target and were sensitive to group dynamics.
1. We need to look at one communication system.
2. Traffic coordination of the public off scene.
3. The activation of the first responders “Fire Department must be included”.
4. More SAPS could have been deployed to safe- crowd area.
“The land transportation technology is very progressive. What took days to travel before now takes hours; once took hours now takes minutes. But as it gives us more comforts, it also gives us higher risk.”
Source: Free State Department of Health