Tag Archives: New South Wales

New South Wales | Central Coast heart attack victims given better chance of survival by NSW Ambulance paramedics

Heart attack victims living on the NSW Central Coast will now have faster access to life saving cardiac therapy traditionally delivered in hospital.

Central Coast paramedics can now provide Pre Hospital Thrombolysis (PHT) to suitable heart attack patients who dial Triple Zero (000), which can preserve heart function, potentially saving their life.

NSW Ambulance Chief Superintendent, Tony Gately, Deputy Director Operations said the PHT program ensures that treatment for heart attack victims starts as soon as paramedics arrive.

“An immediate response is vital in ensuring a positive outcome for heart attack patients. Our Central Coast paramedics can now deliver potentially life-saving thrombolysis or clot busting medications to suitable patients before they are transported to hospital” Chief Superintendent Gately said.

“This means the treatment pathway for these patients is starting earlier than ever, giving them a better chance of survival and recovery.”

PHT is a key part of the state-wide Cardiac Reperfusion Strategy, a partnership between Central Coast Local Health District, the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation and NSW Ambulance.

Paramedics on the Central Coast are now also equipped to perform electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring.

All paramedics on the Central Coast are equipped to deliver this new innovative care approach to heart attack patients.

The commencement of this treatment option on the Central Coast and in other rural and regional areas across the state comes after a successful trial period in the Hunter region.

Since July 2008 to August 2014, NSW Ambulance paramedics thrombolyised more than 300 patients across NSW.

Further information on PHT and the Cardiac Reperfusion Strategy can be found at http://www.aci.health.nsw.gov.au/networks/cardiac/scrs

New South Wales | Public health warning about Hep E cases linked with pork liver

NSW Health is urging members of the public to thoroughly cook pork products, particularly pork livers, after three recent notifications of Hepatitis E in NSW in people who have not travelled outside Australia.

NSW Health – in collaboration with the NSW Food Authority and the Department of Primary Industries – is investigating the cases which were recorded over the past few days.
Dr Jeremy McAnulty, the Director of Health Protection with NSW Health, said three individuals have likely contracted the illness after consuming either pork liver or pork liver sausages that may not have been properly cooked at home.
“Hepatitis E virus has previously been identified in Australian pig herds but until recently there has been no evidence that humans have acquired the virus from pork products in Australia,” Dr McAnulty said.
“Hepatitis E is common in developing countries where there is poor sanitation and little access to clean drinking water. Although infections have been linked to the consumption of pork products in other developed countries, this has not been seen in Australia before.
“In 2010 there were 14 notifications of Hepatitis E in NSW, in 2011 there were 21 notifications and in 2012 there were 10 notifications – all of which were thought to have been acquired overseas.
“Last year there were 19 notifications of the virus across the State and for the first time included a small number which were acquired locally.
“So far this year there have been 27 notifications, many without a history of overseas travel but with a history of eating pork particularly pork liver during the time they were likely exposed to the virus.”
Dr Lisa Szabo, Chief Scientist NSW Food Authority, said any raw food product has an element of food safety risk unless it is correctly handled and prepared.
“Undercooking pork livers and poor handling of them can be dangerous,” Dr Szabo said.
“Cooking livers all the way through will reduce the risk of contracting Hepatitis E virus or other organisms.”
Potentially harmful viruses and bacteria that may be associated with pork livers are all destroyed by thorough cooking and proper handling.
Pork livers need to be cooked all the way through to kill any organisms that may be present – lightly searing the surface is not enough.
Cook to 75°C at the centre of the thickest part for at least two minutes as measured using a digital probe meat thermometer before removing meat from the heat source.
Allow livers to rest for at least three minutes before consuming.
It is also important to handle pork livers in a way to avoid cross-contamination.”
To avoid cross-contamination (where particles from raw food come into contact with ready-to-eat foods), it is very important to:
·         wash your hands in hot soapy water and dry thoroughly before preparing food and after touching raw meat;
·         make sure juices from raw meat do not come into contact with other foods
·         thoroughly clean all utensils, equipment and surfaces after preparing raw meat and before contact with other foods;
·         if possible use a separate cutting board and knife specifically for raw meat;
·         store raw meat at the bottom of the fridge so juices can’t drip onto other foods; and
·         keep uncooked raw meat away from other ready-to-eat foods that will not be cooked.
Dr Jeremy McAnulty said the symptoms of Hepatitis E vary dramatically.
“Someone infected with Hepatitis E can experience no symptoms, a mild illness lasting a couple of weeks or a severe disease which may be fatal,” he said.
“If symptoms occur, they can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, dark urine and yellowing of the skin and eyeballs (jaundice).
“Hepatitis E virus infection is most serious in pregnant women (especially during the third trimester of a pregnancy), and in people who have pre-existing chronic liver disease.
“Most people will clear the virus and recover completely.”
For further information, people are advised to contact their local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.

New South Wales | NSW RFS LODD – Deputy Captain Peter Witton of Kyogle HQ RFB

Tragic news for the NSW RFS family this afternoon following the passing of Deputy Captain Peter Witton of the Kyogle HQ RFB, who died whilst responding to assist neighbouring brigades with a house fire.

The attached email has been sent to members for information. Our thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with Peter’s family, friends and colleagues during this most difficult time.

Evening All

It is with great sadness that I confirm a long standing member of the NSW RFS, Deputy Captain, Rudolph Peter Witton, passed away this afternoon whilst he was responding to a house fire with his colleagues of the Kyogle HQ brigade.

Rudolph Peter Witton, known to all of us as Peter, had been a member of the NSW RFS for the last 36 years, starting out in the Baulkham Hills area, before settling in Kyogle and serving with the Kyogle HQ Brigade.

This afternoon, Peter joined three fellow crew members in a response to back up neighbouring brigades with a house fire at Loadstone. Reports indicate that Peter started (to) have seizures approximately 10 minutes out of town and the crew pulled over to administer first aid. Shortly after the arrival of Ambulance NSW he went into cardiac arrest. Peter was transported to Kyogle Hospital but was not able to be resuscitated.

I spoke with Superintendent Michael Brett this afternoon whilst he was with Peter’s wife Francine and son Christ at the family home. As would be expected this has devastated the Kyogle HQ Brigade and all those in our Northern Rivers Team. Francine has indicated to Michael that she has some comfort in knowing that he was with fellow members, some of whom are long standing and best mates, when he took ill.

After speaking with Peter’s son Chris tonight, the family are comfortable with Peter’s name being released and members being made aware of his passing. I will be heading to Kyogle to catch up with Peter’s family, our Kyogle Brigade and the Northern Rivers Team tomorrow.

I know you all join in extending thoughts, prayers and best wishes to Peter’s family, colleagues and friends during this most difficult time.


Shane Fitzsimmons, Commissioner NSW RFS


New South Wales | Three people killed, three injured after shop fire in Rozelle

Emergency services have located two more bodies at the scene of a building fire in Rozelle.

Fire & Rescue NSW personnel discovered one of the bodies, believed to belong to an adult, around 10.30am today (Friday 5 September 2014).

Another body, believed to belong to an infant child, was found shortly after 1pm.

Fire & Rescue NSW personnel have removed the bodies from the rubble.

The development follows the discovery of another body yesterday afternoon.

None of the bodies have been identified; post-mortem examinations will be conducted in the coming days.

Strike Force Baracchi, which will be led by the Property Crime Squad’s Arson Unit, has been formed to investigate the fire.

The Commander of the Property Crime Squad, Detective Superintendent Murray Chapman, said the case was absolutely tragic.

“Three people have lost their lives in this event, and our thoughts are with their families and friends who are grief-stricken,” Detective Superintendent Chapman said.

“Specialist detectives from the Property Crime Squad’s Arson Unit are leading this investigation, and are working closely with colleagues from Central Metropolitan Region, Leichhardt Local Area Command and other emergency services agencies to determine how and why this tragic event occurred.

“We are treating the fire as suspicious, however, given the investigation is still in its infancy, I cannot go into detail on our lines of inquiry.”

Detective Superintendent Chapman thanked local residents and business owners for their support.

“I would like to thank the local community here in Rozelle for their patience and understanding. We are working as fast as possible to reopen the closed section of Darling Street.

“However, please bear in mind, that this is still a dangerous site for all of the emergency workers at the scene, and we need to work carefully and methodically to ensure the safety of our people.”

He added that anyone with information that may assist detectives should contact Crime Stoppers.

“I encourage anyone with information that may assist us, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, to contact Crime Stoppers,” Detective Superintendent Chapman said.

“Information can be provided anonymously and will be treated in the strictest confidence.”

For up to date information on road closures visit www.livetraffic.com.

New South Wales | One person killed, five others injured in bus v car RTC in New England

A man died and five people were injured when a car and a bus collided on the New England Highway south of Armidale this morning.

The crash happened about 1.30am (Saturday 6 September 2014), at Kentucky, about 40km south of Armidale, when the southbound sedan and northbound coach collided. The bus then slid a further 200m before rolling onto its side into a table drain.

The driver of the car, believed to be a 19-year-old man from Uralla, died at the scene. He was an unaccompanied learner driver.

There were eight passengers on the bus at the time; first police on the scene helped six passengers from the bus’s emergency exit, then entered the vehicle to free the driver and two remaining passengers.

The bus driver, a 50-year-old man from Rosebery, sustained shoulder, lower-back and hand injuries.

Four passengers were taken to Armidale Hospital with non-life threatening injuries:

• A 68-year-old Queensland woman sustained injuries to her chest and left arm;

• A 71-year-old Armidale woman sustained injuries to her shoulder and hand;

• A 31-year-old Bolton Point woman sustained cuts to her head, and possibly chest and pelvic injuries;

• A 29-year-old woman, from Tamworth, sustained cuts to her left leg, as well as possible neck and back injuries.

Four passengers left the scene with family members.

The highway remains closed and is not expected to reopen until 12.30pm. Check www.livetraffic.com or 131500 for local diversions.

New South Wales | Above normal bushfire season predicted for NSW


An ‘above normal’ bush fire season is expected for much of NSW, according to the latest outlook from the Bushfire & Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.

The BNHCRC has released its annual outlook for south-eastern Australia, which gives a general indication of the level of fire activity we can expect across the bush fire season.

Download the report

New South Wales | NSW SES crews refining their skills in Flood Rescue


A total of 20 NSW SES volunteers gathered over a weekend in Mungindi recently for the annual Flood Boat Weekend. The aim of the workshop was to upskill in Flood Rescue techniques and navigating through low water levels and to learn from more experienced flood rescue operators.

Six Flood boats were used for the weekend which was held on the Barwon River and upstream from Mungindi.

Moree Plains Shire Local Controller Tony Clark said “the weekend was about ensuring our volunteers are ready for any emergency that may arise”.

“Workshops like this are so important” Mr Clark said. “They give our NSW SES members the opportunity to learn new skills while also ensuring they are at the right level to be carrying out flood rescue operations” he said.

Over the two days, volunteers were tested through a series of scenarios. Scenarios included searching the river bank and recovering a missing fisherman, repairing propellers and mechanical breakdowns and navigating on an unfamiliar river system.

Region Learning and Development Officer Wes Macpherson said “it was great to see so many volunteers participating in the workshop.” “Our NSW SES volunteers already give so much time to their communities, it’s just great to see them all here, smiling and ready for a challenge” he said.

With help from Mungindi SES volunteers, the participants were able to simulate a real life recovery of a lost person from the water. This gave the volunteers the ability to use skills they had learnt over the weekend, and put them into practice.

As the Lead agency for Emergency Flood Response, the NSW SES has a nationally recognised training program that gives members the skills to effectively save lives in times of flooding disasters.

The 20 volunteers participated from across the North West Region from various Units including Bingara, Moree, Warialda, Tenterfield, Garah, and Glen Innes.

Local Controller Tony Clark said that “he would like to have more members join the Mungindi and Moree SES Units and if anyone would like more information or on joining the NSW SES, contact the NSW SES by calling the Volunteer Information Line on 1800 201 000”.

New South Wales | Elderly man charged after light plane forced to make emergency landing at Oberon

An elderly man has been charged over an aircraft incident that forced the pilot to make an emergency landing at Oberon.

A 23-year-old pilot was flying a light plane from Bankstown Airport to Cowra about 2.30pm on Monday (25 August 2014), with an 82-year-old man onboard.

Police will allege during the flight an incident occurred and the pilot was forced to restrain the passenger.

The aircraft then made an emergency landing in a paddock on Titania Road at Oberon.

Emergency services were alerted and the passenger was airlifted to Westmead Hospital with lacerations to his head.

The pilot was taken to Oberon Hospital where he was treated for a knee injury and shock.

Detectives from Chifley Local Area Command began an investigation into the incident.

Following inquiries, the elderly man was arrested after being released from hospital about 2.45pm today (Wednesday 27 August 2014).

The Georges Hall man was taken to Parramatta Police Station where he was charged with prejudicing the safe operation of an aircraft.

He was given bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court on 29 September 2014.

New South Wales | More than 260 calls to SES for assistance after heavy rain and flash flooding

The NSW SES has now received over 260 calls for emergency assistance following two days of heavy rain and flash flooding. The focus of the SES response has today shifted from the South Coast and Illawarra Regions to the Mid-north Coast and Northern Rivers Regions.

Most calls are for leaking roofs, mostly minor property damage caused by fallen trees and branches and some sandbagging due to flash flooding. There have been five flood rescues for the event, all yesterday.

NSW SES volunteers have been busy attending to requests for emergency help, with volunteers in affected areas working tirelessly to undertake temporary property repairs and provide other assistance such as the removal of trees blocking access or across roads.

Information on being safer in a flood is available on the NSW SES FloodSafe website: www.floodsafe.com.au

Flood warnings are current for minor rural flooding for the Bellinger River at Thora and the Orara River at Glenreagh. A minor flood warning for the Hastings River at Kindee Bridge has been finalised. Rural flooding may result in some short-term property isolations in the upper Bellinger valley. The SES is monitoring this closely.

For detailed information on the warnings visit www.bom.gov.au/nsw/warnings

A severe weather warning is also current for the northern parts of the Mid-north Coast, the Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands for flash flooding. Winds are now gusting up to 78km/hr on parts of the north east coast, and this may bring down trees and branches.

For areas affected by river flooding, the SES urges rural property owners to lift pumps and to move livestock and equipment to higher ground. If isolation is likely, stock up on food, fuel and other essential items.

Flash and river flooding will make causeways in the affected dangerous and the NSW SES urges people to not try to cross flooded causeways, but to seek an alternate route.

For emergency assistance call the NSW SES on 132 500 or 000 if it is a life-threatening emergency.

New South Wales | LODD – One firefighter killed another injured battling hotel blaze in Cobar

Fire & Rescue NSW is today mourning the death of one of their own, after a firefighter from Cobar died, and another was injured while fighting a fire at the Occidental Hotel this morning.

“It is with a heavy heart I confirm the death of a Fire and Rescue NSW officer in the state’s west today,” said Minister for Emergency Services Stuart Ayres.

“The officer was attending a fire at a hotel in Cobar when a wall collapsed and he suffered what is believed to be cardiac arrest.

“The officer was taken by ambulance to Dubbo Base Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

“As a member of Fire & Rescue NSW, this man selflessly dedicated his life to the safety of his community.

“On behalf of the people of NSW, our thoughts and prayers are today with the officer’s family, friends and fellow firefighters” Mr Ayres concluded.

Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said the whole firefighting community was devastated by the death and expressed condolences to the family and community of Cobar.

“Today we have lost a dedicated firefighter, committed to protecting his community.

“He lost his life protecting other people in his community and on behalf of all members of Fire & Rescue NSW I extend our deepest sympathies to firefighters, family and friends.”

The second firefighter is being treated in hospital for non life-threatening injuries.

Commissioner Mullins is currently travelling to Cobar, along with other senior officers and staff from Fire & Rescue NSW’s Critical Incident Support Team to be on hand to offer support and assistance to the family, firefighters and the community.