Emergency Services Open Day at Christchurch Central
New Zealand Police, 15 Feb 2010
Christchurch Police are opening the doors to the public on Saturday 27 February, 12 noon to 6pm, with Fire and Ambulance joining this year to make the event an Emergency Services open day.
"The Open Day provides an excellent opportunity for our communities to see the wide range of duties that police officers are called upon to perform. The day is also an opportunity for people to see the very strong partnerships that exist in Canterbury between all the emergency services," says Supt Dave Cliff, District Commander, Canterbury.
Hereford Street will again be closed for the day again but this year there will be many more displays set up in the Police yard. This will give more room and protection from any inclement weather, says organizer, Sergeant Andrea Mather. For security reasons Police are unable to open up the whole police station but for a gold coin donation to Victim Support and Neighbourhood Support, the public is invited through a section of the Watch house and cell block.
"Christchurch Central is a very busy working station; the second busiest police station in New Zealand," says Andrea Mather. "While we have the open day outside, the rest of the station is still operational, including the cells."
Sergeant Mather says that given the experience of the last open day in 2008, in excess of 10,000 visitors are expected.
Outside there will be displays and exhibitions to show all the various aspects of police work, including Dogs, AOS, SOCO (scene of Crime) CIB- crime scenes, Finger printing, Photography, Recruiting, Traffic and a working communication centre the public can see in action.
"We hope that a lot of people take advantage of the opportunity to see inside the police station. It's also an opportunity to see the great range and diversity of the work police do. There will be recruitment advisers on hand for anyone who wants information on how to join."
The Traffic Unit will again have an opportunity for children (and parents if they're brave enough) to race a speed camera down Hereford Street and receive a certificate for how fast they can run. Other popular displays will be by the Dog section and Armed Offenders group.
Groups and organizations which work closely with Police such as DARE, Blue Light, Neighbourhood Support, and Community Watch will be providing displays, demonstrations and activities for the public.
A new display this year will be with the Army bomb disposal unit, plus an opportunity to try on a bomb suit.
PCT (Physical competency training) - mandatory courses for Police and Fire services, will be set up for the public to try themselves against the guidelines for their sex and age group.
The Fire Service will be supporting the Emergency Open day through a number of static displays and demonstrations of its capabilities. This includes taking on the Police physical course by challenging local Police to take on the Fire Service physical in a "who's the toughest?"
A mock car crash will be undertaken by all services, along with the Fire Service's Urban Search and Rescue team demonstrating its capabilities. A high angle rescue team from the Fire service will also demonstrate its work high above the ground. The latest in technology will be on display with the fire service's mobile Command Vehicle and hazardous material decontamination corridor open for people to see the latest capability to Christchurch.
St John will have several stands showing their work. The Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) – is essentially an advanced paramedic who kits up and accompanies AOS members on jobs in case emergency medical assistance is required.
The MCI tent is the tent used for a Mass Casualty Incident with a lot of patients – this will be set up as for a real incident. Then there are displays of the first aid events cover that St John provides for public and private events.
Tony Dowell, St John District Operations Manager Christchurch, says St John is committed to working with their partners in the emergency services.
"We’re also keen to demonstrate to the community just some of the work that our ambulance crews do, as well as some of our equipment, vehicles and personnel. We’re looking forward to the day, and we hope that the public will come along and support the emergency services and see what we all do."
The public going into Central will be asked for a gold coin donation with Victim Support and Neighbourhood Support the benefactors. Both organizations work in close partnership with the Police. All other displays will be free.
Visitors will see the diversity of Police operational systems and the partnerships with community organizations within our great city.
Events will then continue at the free Celebrating a Safer Christchurch event over at City Mall from 5pm-9pm. Both events will highlight the efforts of local organisations in helping to keep us safe within our city.