Nineteen people – including a person in a wheelchair – have been "rescued" from Skyline Rotorua after a three-hour emergency response exercise.

The simulated exercise included emergency services and staff from Skyline Rotorua and was part of their regular and ongoing emergency response plan.

Skyline Rotorua general manager Andrew Jensen was pleased with how the Skyline team handled the exercise.

"The safety of our guests and our staff is our number one priority. These exercises allow us to proactively make any changes or enhancements to our safety procedures and plans," he said.

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Volunteer Lilly Russell was involved in the mock rescue on Wednesday. Photo / Supplied
Volunteer Lilly Russell was involved in the mock rescue on Wednesday. Photo / Supplied

Over three hours the simulated exercise included "rescuing" 19 people from the stopped gondola, including a "diabetic" and another in a "wheelchair", to test the skills of first responders and rescue team when faced with different situations.

Jensen said while Skyline constantly reviewed its emergency plans to make sure they fit with best practice and ran regular training with staff, exercises like today's which included other organisations such as emergency services added an important extra element.

A fire appliance parked at Skyline on Wednesday morning. Photo / Zizi Sparks
A fire appliance parked at Skyline on Wednesday morning. Photo / Zizi Sparks

"This sort of exercise is invaluable for our teams to ensure everything runs like clockwork.

"Working closely with emergency services provides an extra layer of security around our procedures. We're grateful to be working with such professionals.

"I'm absolutely delighted with how our team handled themselves – everyone knew exactly what to do and when to do it," he said.

Jensen said in their industry it was important to never get complacent.

"We want to ensure the best possible experience for our guests and should the unexpected happen, provide them with assurance through decisive and swift action to any issues."

Skyline staff are trained and certified in rope rescue through IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association). As well as undergoing regular training in emergency response, the team welcomed the opportunity to practice their skills in real-life settings.

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Emergency services on site included St John, Fire and Emergency NZ and NZ Police. The scenario was several months in the planning between all services and Skyline.

More than 81 people were involved in the training exercise including members of the wider community.