Covertex AirShelters feature in simulated refugee response exercise
A joint exercise, led by New Zealand Immigration and Customs, has seen Covertex Emergency Response AirShelters (ERAS) deployed by St John as a temporary triage centre for refugees arriving in New Zealand.
The operation, which was conducted on the Auckland Harbour, saw the simulated arrival of a suspected refugee vessel, MV OCEAN MOON, carrying nearly 500 potentially illegal immigrants.
Involving 18 key agencies, including the Navy, Customs, Immigration, the local District Health Board and St John, the exercise aimed to test the strength of New Zealand’s front-line response plan to refugee arrivals.
Central to St John’s response was the deployment of three 7.5 x 5 metre Covertex Shelters. The shelters were erected in the carpark of the Devonport Naval Base and enabled St John staff to perform medical assessments on 100 immigrants within a single day.
St John has relied on Covertex ERAS solutions for more than 20 years and, following the exercise, the Navy Times reported that:
“The day was deemed a success, with many positive lessons learned to ensure the plan is robust and able to cope if an illegal vessel such as MV OCEAN MOON were able to make it to our shores.”