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Students get taste of rail accident investigation, thanks to simulated crash

Students get taste of rail accident investigation, thanks to simulated crash

Published:02 November 2017

CQUniversity accident forensics students had a taste of rail accident investigation this week, thanks to a simulated crash exercise at Bundaberg campus.

CQUniversity accident forensics students had a taste of rail accident investigation this week, thanks to a simulated crash exercise at Bundaberg campus.

The campus Crash Lab hosted a simulated crash between a van and a train to test how responders from a range of agencies operate in a complex setting.

As well as volunteer actors simulating the role of killed and injured victims, participants included paramedics, firies, police officers and student doctors.

Local media were invited to attend to add to the veracity of the exercise.

CQUniversity Lecturer in Rail Accident Investigation, Joe Thompson says the exercise was developed by the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) in association with the University of Queensland Rural Clinical School.

"As part of the scenario, a minivan full of backpackers has left the road, crossed a culvert and crashed into the side of a moving Queensland Rail sleeper cabin full of passengers, derailing it and causing significant injuries to the occupants of both the minivan and train carriage," Mr Thompson says.

"As well as providing access to our forensic Crash Lab for the conduct of this exercise, simulated patients were drawn from the Bundaberg Region SES and CQUni's student paramedic cohort.

"This was also a great opportunity for our accident forensics students to get a taste of a realistic rail accident investigation process.

"For the exercise, we welcomed QAS paramedics and University of Queensland student doctors along with representatives of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), Queensland Police Service (QPS), local media, and an observer from the Bundaberg Regional Council Disaster Management Unit.

"In the wake of the exercise, a multi-agency debrief will take place."