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Volunteers put to the test in disaster exercise

Civil Defence volunteers evacuated parts of Peel last night (Wednesday), but there was no emergency!

The force was taking part in a training exercise which simulated a disaster at the town's power station and nearby fuel storage depot.

The two-hour operation saw residents from nearby houses taken out of the town to St John's, where volunteers set up a rest centre.

Organisers say they wanted to test the readiness of volunteers, and how well equipment and people could be transported should the worst ever happen.

Jason Roberts reports (text, below, from attached audio file):

Last night's scenario presented the civil defence volunteers with a number of casualties, and at least two 'deaths'.

But the exercise, which was kept secret until the last minute to avoid tipping off those taking part, also saw 30 members of the public agreeing to play the part of evacuees.

Civil Defence volunteer team leader Joyce Kermeen explained the exercise helped train volunteers in record keeping, decision making, first aid and dealing with difficult people.

She thanked all those who took part, particularly the members of the public who provided the necessary degree of realism.

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