Morwell mine fire health centre awarded

The Morwell health assessment centre established during the Hazelwood open cut mine fire has won a national public safety award.

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials Australasia award recognised the Department of Health and Ambulance Victoria for developing a model of care never seen before in emergency management in Victoria.

“The Victorian State Health and Medical Command swiftly established the Community Health Assessment Centre in an Ambulance Victoria building in Morwell once the need was identified,” Health Minister David Davis said.

“The Association said to establish this facility in such a short time took a monumental effort in the areas of logistics, rostering, administration, signage and public announcements.”

Mr Davis said the centre complemented local services such as GP practices and Latrobe Regional Hospital by providing another source of easily accessible health advice about the effects of smoke from the mine fire.

The centre offered a 12-hour service running from 8am to 8pm daily, and more than 2000 people were assessed during its operation.

“The Association said the success of the Community Health Assessment Centre in protecting the Latrobe Valley community can only be attributed to the incredibly hard work, and devotion of the team of paramedics and nurse clinicians who were involved in operating it,” Mr Davis said.