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'Real life' training centre opened
Monday 25 August 2014 – 2:00 PM
The Fire and Emergency Services Simulation Centre (SIMCEN) enables WA’s emergency service personnel to be better prepared to respond to emergencies and disasters.
Officially opened in Belmont on Friday 4 April 2014, the dedicated SIMCEN is housed in WA’s only purpose built bunker from World War II. 
Speaking at the opening, Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said SIMCEN’s emergency management incident simulation capability would be statewide and apply to all hazards.
“The SIMCEN uses the latest audio visual technology to simulate real life emergencies, allowing our career and volunteer personnel to gain valuable experience in incident management,” Mr Francis said.
“When a life threatening incident occurs, whether it is a bushfire, cyclone or earthquake, personnel need to be practised, tested and trained to respond immediately, whatever circumstance they encounter.
“Having highly trained and experienced personnel is vital for the State to respond effectively to the variety of emergency situations we face.”
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson said the SIMCEN is a key asset in providing emergency responders with the exposure, testing and experience they need, in the kind of environment they can expect to deal with when disaster strikes.
“In the past, this real life experience has been developed on site, in the heat of battle, at real emergencies where mistakes can and do happen, with real life consequences,” Commissioner Gregson said.
“With the opening of SIMCEN, we can now test our people in a safe but realistic environment.
“The incident management training held at this new facility will enable us to build truly dynamic and well trained personnel across the sector, ensuring we meet the level of preparedness, response and recovery expected of us.
“It will also form the basis for us being recognised as a centre of excellence for world class emergency management.”
The SIMCEN combines adult learning processes, emergency management experience, quality training methodologies and computer supported simulation to provide a realistic, scenario driven incident management and coordination environment. It operates within a discussion and operations based training and exercising framework.
The facility was modified thanks to funding through the $2million DFES Command, Control and Coordination Information Systems project.