More than 80 of the district's doctors, nurses and paramedics were put to the test during a mock rescue at Killalea Reserve on Wednesday afternoon.
Illawarra Shoalhaven Health Education Centre co-ordinated the large-scale exercise, which simulation fellow Chris McLenachan said allowed emergency services staff to practice their skills in a high-pressure situation.
They faced a scenario which required the rescue of two patients off a rock platform; a child who'd suffered a head injury after being swept into the ocean, and the child's father who'd rescued him and then suffered severe chest pains due to the exertion.
"We're fortunate to live in beautiful surroundings with the escarpment and the sea, but sometimes these situations do happen so it's important to train for them in the environment where they occur," Mr McLenachan said.
"It's also a great opportunity for different emergency services to come together to practice their skills and learn from each other."
Retrieval teams from Helicopter Emergency Medical Services took part in the rescue, with NSW Ambulance paramedics providing pre-hospital treatment before transferring the 'patients' to doctors and nurses in a makeshift emergency department.
Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Co-Director Clinical Care Simon Keane said the training exercise was about education, and enhancing relationships between emergency staff.
"The whole point is to cross pollinate and create relationships, so when retrieval teams and paramedics come into the hospital, our staff know them," he said.
"This helps us all work better together to ensure that patients have a smoother and more efficient journey."