Vaud and Geneva emergency services exercise on the Coast


In the context of the objectives set by the Vaud State Council for the Protection of the Population, the management of the Vaud cantonal driving authority (EMCC), in cooperation with the Security Service of Geneva International Airport, is preparing a full-scale exercise simulating the crash of a passenger plane in the Nyon area. This exercise, starting during the night of 25 to 26 November and involving nearly 870 people, will test response and coordination procedures among all the partners.

On 25 and 26 November, 2009, the management of the Vaud cantonal driving authority (EMCC) is organizing, in close collaboration with the Security Service of Geneva International Airport (GVA), its annual exercise simulating the crash of a passenger plane in the Nyon area. Under the guidance of a project group, the aim of this full-scale exercise is to allow the EMCC and GVA to test their response procedures and resources in a crisis situation involving the partners of the Protection of the Population services - the police, fire service, medical services,  civil defence, technical services, public and private stakeholders, the army, and the cantonal and communal authorities.

With 11.5 million passengers and 190,000 movements in 2008, GVA is a dynamic platform whose approach axes cut across national and cantonal boundaries. To ensure and develop its security-related  prevention and response capabilities, legislation requires that procedures are regularly exercised; and this will be done this year by putting technical and human resources through the test of the GVA 09 exercise.

An event of this nature, simulating a probable-risk situation with consequences for the entire canton, requires the deployment of more than 600 response staff with 150 vehicles, 4 helicopters and 1 mini drone, 150 volunteer extras, and another 120 people who are members of the exercise board, assessors, and staff assigned to logistics, infrastructure and security, making a total of 870 people.

The exercise is intended to permit the testing of the response procedures of all the partners involved, the working methods of the bodies directly concerned with locating and identifying victims, the management of media impact and coordinated release of information, and also of ensuring the safety of response crews and survivors in the accident zone by forestalling irrational behaviour and psychological reactions.

All of GVA’s procedures were developed using a theoretical model built by interpreting a range of information resulting from an analysis of events and the sharing of experience with various partners throughout the world. In the event of a disaster, the particular configuration of GVA will lead also to a coordination of efforts among all partners, including those beyond the cantonal and national boundaries. The GVA 09 exercise will help to give a clear shape for the first time to a long collaborative effort between the Geneva and Vaud authorities.