Tag Archives: rescues

New South Wales #NSW | Busy night for Fire & Rescue NSW firefighters – #SevereWeather

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) crews across Sydney and the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Newcastle areas have responded to nearly 1000 storm-related jobs since late yesterday afternoon in one of the busiest nights in the organisation’s history.

Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said FRNSW had taken more than 3000 Triple Zero (000) calls since 6pm yesterday.

“We have had about 800 firefighters and 200 fire trucks responding to ongoing emergencies including flood rescues, house fires, serious road accidents with people trapped, trees down and building collapses,” Commissioner Mullins said.

This morning Commissioner Mullins ordered the mobilisation of 24 reserve fire trucks and the recall of off-duty firefighters. These crews, together with a contingent of fire trucks and crews from Sydney, will be used to assist Central Coast and Newcastle fire crews.

During last night’s emergency response, a Raymond Terrace firefighter was injured when a large tree fell on a fire truck cabin at Heatherbrae, Port Stephens. The firefighter was transported to hospital with minor injuries and is in a stable condition. At Morriset a tree has brought down powerlines on top of a fire truck, trapping firefighters inside.

Incidents firefighters have responded to since 4pm yesterday until 8am today include:

  • Dungog firefighters rescuing numerous residents trapped by floodwaters in Stroud, near Newcastle
  • More than 990 storm-related emergencies, including powerlines down and arcing, trees down and assisting members of the public
  • More than 30 rescues, including two people in Rankin Park, Lake Macquarie, after a large tree fell on their house, restricting access.
  • About 75 fires, including a two-storey house in Carlton destroyed by fire, and a school fire at Holsworthy
  • 16 electrical fires and five gas leaks
  • More than 180 other callouts such as automatic fire alarms being set off by wind, power outages and heavy rain.
  • Commissioner Mullins said FRNSW would continue to provide support to the NSW SES throughout today as extreme weather conditions continue.

“I can only praise firefighters and our other emergency service colleagues for their mighty effort,” he said. “We’re also appealing to the public to only call Triple Zero (000) if it is a genuine emergency and do not drive through floodwaters. For flood and storm assistance, call the NSW SES on 132 500,” he said.

New South Wales #NSW | #SevereWeather morning update

An intense low pressure system has brought significant wind and rainfall to the New South Wales coast overnight.  This wild weather currently sits near the boundary of the Hunter and Mid North Coast locations and is expected to move gradually south throughout the day.

NSW SES have undertaken 3136 jobs and 19 flood rescues since 10am Monday.

Hunter Region job totals = 956

Illawarra South Coast  job totals  = 169

Sydney Metro  job totals  = 1944

The following priority flood/storm jobs have been attended by NSW SES:

  • Half of roof blown off – Cessnock City Unit
  • Roof blown off – Lake Macquarie Unit
  • Roofing coming away at Hawkes Nest Caravan Park – Karuah Valley Unit
  • Roof off – Karuah Valley Unit
  • Roof blown off block of units (14 people seeking accommodation) – City of Newcastle Unit
  • Occupants trapped in house due to tree through roof – Lake Macquarie Unit
  • Double storey window weighing 1/2 tonne loose – City of Newcastle
  • Tree through roof of aged care facility – Wyong Unit
  • Large shed uprooted – Wyong Unit
  • Tree down blocking access to Ambulance Control Centre – Lake Macquarie City
  • Carport roof blown away – City of Newcastle Unit

Another reminder we are experiencing a backlog of calls as we currently receiving more jobs than we have phone lines. Please be patient, jobs that are life critical are taking priority before storm damage jobs. We understand that you wish to get through but the only way to register your job correctly is though the 132 500 number.

For tips on what your family can do to prepare for storms, visit www.stormsafe.com.au

Follow us on Facebook for more updates.

New South Wales | Sydney storms – One very busy night for fire & rescue crews

Last night’s unprecedented extreme weather across Sydney and the Illawarra has seen Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) experience one of its busiest nights in history.

Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said FRNSW had taken 1,105 Triple Zero (000) calls from 6pm yesterday to 8am today.

“Last night every fire truck in the Sydney and Illawarra area responded to numerous emergencies from flood rescues to house fires caused by lightning strikes,” Commissioner Mullins said.

“We initially responded six fire trucks and 24 firefighters from Sydney to help the 17 crews in the Illawarra, who were all out on the road dealing with the incidents caused by the extreme weather. As the storm front moved over Sydney, crews from the Illawarra and the Central Coast travelled to Sydney to help deal with the influx of calls.

“At the height of the storm more than 100 fire trucks and nearly 500 firefighters were deployed to emergencies across Sydney.

“Because of the extremely high number of calls we were receiving, off-duty firefighters were recalled at around 9:30pm to staff eight additional fire engines, which were deployed across Sydney.

“At the peak of the bad weather last night – 9:30pm – we had 230 active emergencies at once.

“This morning we are assisting the NSW State Emergency Service with four fire trucks and 16 firefighters deployed to southern Sydney. This is on top of the dozens of firefighters out securing trees and wires across the greater Sydney area.”

Between 6pm and 8am, FRNSW firefighters responded to 970 emergencies, including
• 95 fires (including at least two fires started by lightning strikes at Kellyville and Normanhurst)
• 384 storm-related emergencies, including wires down, trees down and flooding, including a call to flooding over three levels at Wollongong Hospital at 6:16pm
• 87 rescues such as rescuing people from cars and homes, including a man who was rescued by firefighters at Warrawong after he was trapped underneath a tree at around 7pm
• 15 HAZMATS such as overflowing pipes
• 27 medical assistance emergencies
• 12 bush and grass fires (most likely started by lightning)
• 350 other callouts such as automatic fire alarms being set off by winds, power outages and heavy rain.

Commissioner Mullins said FRNSW would continue to provide support to the NSW SES during the protracted clean up operations.

“I can only praise firefighters and our other emergency service colleagues for their mighty effort,” he said.

“We’re also appealing to the public to only call Triple Zero if it is a genuine emergency For flood and storm assistance, call the NSW SES on 132 500,” he said.

VIC | Fire crews rescue reptiles from school classroom blaze


CFA firefighters have rescued dozens of snakes and other reptiles from a school fire in Lilydale.

Eight trucks from Lilydale, Mooroolbark, Mt Evelyn and Bayswater were called to the Melba Avenue school shortly after midnight on Wednesday.

CFA District 13 Operations Officer Don Tomkins said crews arrived to find a portable classroom – which was housing snakes, lizards, frogs and turtles – on fire.

“There was a lot of smoke issuing from the structure so crews wore breathing apparatus during the firefight,” he said.

After extinguishing the blaze, crews discovered some of the animals had escaped their enclosures.

“Our crews helped the local school teacher to round up the reptiles but, sadly, some animals were lost during the fire.”

“We’re still not sure on how many died as a result of the blaze, but crews saved many of them and they’re now in safe keeping.”

An emergency refuge is being organised to house the remaining snakes and reptiles.

The cause is being investigated this morning, but it is not believed to be suspicious.

California | San Diego County Animal Services rescues dozens of animals from wildfires

Nearly all the animals rescued by the County Department of Animal Services during the recent wildfires are back home with their owners.

Animal Services rescued more than 50 animals when fires broke out across North County last week. In all six cats, four goats, 18 dogs, 21 horses, an emu and a bird were taken in to the department’s care. Only three cats remain.

Animal Control officers also helped a couple dozen owners evacuate their horses to locations other than the shelters. Officers evacuated between 40 and 50 head of cattle from just one ranch alone.

“We help people evacuate themselves and their horses out to an alternate facility,” said Animal Services Deputy Director Harold Holmes. “We do not provide vehicles or trailers but we’ll help you load a horse that might be a little spooked by the smoke or one that is not used to a trailer into one and direct you to an evacuation center.”

Animal Control Officers also responded to reports of animals “at large.” In one case a woman turned her horses loose because she didn’t have time to load them. When Animal Services arrived, someone had already managed to contain them and get them out of the area. In another instance, two dogs were turned loose in Carlsbad because a resident couldn’t get anyone to drive them out. Officers found one and rescued it. The owner found the second dog Wednesday. The animal was still running the streets when he recognized his owner and went to him. The dog is OK.

“This is going to be a very long fire season. We have the potential for more and bigger fires,” said Holmes. “This incident serves as a wake-up call to review our disaster plans and get better prepared.”

Animal Services says pets should always be a part of your disaster planning. Microchips have shown time and again their ability to reunite lost animals with their owners quickly.

“It could save your pet’s life,” said Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson. “We have rescued hundreds of animals during past fires and the first thing we do is check for a microchip.”

Every Thursday, the department’s three shelters microchip and register dogs, cats and rabbits for $10. The department also holds microchipping and registration events at various locations throughout the year.

Another new tool is a smartphone app called Finding Rover. Animal Services is the first sheltering organization in the nation to begin using the free app, which uses facial recognition to match lost and found pets and can be used by anyone. Animal Services updates its database of animals with Finding Rover several times daily so if your pet is turned into the shelter, you can check your smartphone or computer to see if he’s there. For more information on Animal Services, visit sddac.com.

UK | Off-duty paramedic hailed as hero shared credit with Good Sams

Following a serious RTC which happened on Saturday on the A66 between Penrith and Keswick, North West Ambulance Service arranged for ITV The Border to interview Paramedic Graham Green, who, at the time, was off duty and rescued all five patients from a vehicle which was on fire.

The link to the piece which aired on the breakfast show is as follows: http://www.itv.com/news/border/update/2014-04-22/full-report-paramedic-says-bystanders-saved-lives-of-crash-family/

British Columbia | Good Sams come to aid of Mom and toddlers trapped in overturned vehicle

A Mom and her two young children have a couple of motorists to thank for coming to their aid, after the vehicle they were travelling in clipped a logging truck and ended up on its roof, with them inside.

Their car, a Ford Focus, was involved in a collision with a north bound logging truck Wednesday April 15th at approximately 1:30 PM, near the intersection of Morden Rd and the Trans-Canada highway. They were travelling in the fast lane when the 38 year female driver travelling with her seven and two year old, suddenly lost control and swerved into the slow lane. She struck the rear end of the truck and the force of the impact caused her vehicle to flip upside down. It came to rest on its roof on the side of the road. They all received some injuries but none were considered life threatening.

Chris Moore, age 45, was one of the first to arrive. He was followed by another motorist who also stopped to render assistance. Moore barely remembers stopping but within seconds he was vehicle side and heard the screams. He saw a female with a gash to her forehead and a young boy crawling out of the vehicle. The woman then screamed to get her other son out. Moore sensed the panic in her voice and grasped the urgency of the situation. He also could smell gas.

I remember thinking to myself , I hope the other guy has enough sense to pull me out if this car catches on fire, said Moore.

Moore and the other man worked in tandem and after some difficulty, they managed to remove the toddler from his car seat and out of the car. Moore and the other man stayed with them all until paramedics arrived.

I did what anybody else would do and I’m just so glad we arrived when we did and were able to help this young family, said Moore.

The mom was kept overnight at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for observation. Her boys were examined and released some time later the same day. Her vehicle was destroyed in the collision and was towed from the scene.

NSW | Flood update – Friday afternoon – 28 March 2014

The NSW SES has been responding to over 50 requests for assistance as a result of flooding in the North East of the State. Most requests are for leaking roofs, sandbagging and there have been two flood rescues.

Rain has eased in the Northern Rivers area but flooding along the Richmond and Wilsons rivers later today is still expected. At this stage it is not possible to predict the flood peak because of uncertainty over how much more rain will fall. The Wilsons River at Lismore will exceed minor flood level (4.2 metres AHD) around midnight tonight and reach 5.8 metres AHD early Saturday with minor flooding.At Coraki it will reach 3.9 metres early Sunday with minor flooding and at Bungawalbin Will reach 3.0 metres early Sunday with minor flooding

At 4.36m Slater Creek may back up and inundate Pitt Street near the Richmond River Sports Oval in North Lismore. Between 5.10 to 5.30m Water starts to cover Simes Bridge. Alternative routes available between North Lismore and Lismore include:

Alexandra Parade, Tweed Street, Terania Street, the southern end of Bridge Street and over the bridge to Woodlark Street. Or Alexandra Parade, Tweed Street, Wilson Street via the Robert White Bridge, Casino Street, Union Street then via Woodlark Street or the Bruxner Highway.

At 5.71m Bridge Street, near McKenzie Park in North Lismore is inundated by water backing up Slater Creek. This does not affect the alternate routes from North Lismore. Junction Street, between the southern ends of Molesworth and Keen streets, maybe covered by water backing up Gasworks Creek. This may occur as a result of stormwater flooding.

In the Tweed Valley, rain has eased considerably since 9 am this morning. River levels at Uki and Eungella peaked early this morning. The main flood peak in the Tweed River is currently near Brays Park Weir and is expected to reach Murwillumbah around noon today with minor flooding. On the Tweed River the community of Uki is isolated, this may last into Saturday. Minor flooding near Murwillumbah is not expected to have any significant consequences.

On the Brunswick River the communities of The Pocket and Upper Main Arm are isolated, as are properties on the lower valley. This is affecting around 2,000 people. The isolation is expected to be short lived as conditions are easing.

For the Namoi River, the Bureau of Meteorology has predicted that a flood height of 5.40 metres will be reached at Wee Waa with minor flooding, possibly along Blackgate Gully, Vera’s Leap and Trindals Lane.At this height a number of rural roads in these areas will be affected by floodwater or impassable. Farmers and residents in low-lying areas that may experience minor flooding should secure pumps and other equipment and move livestock to high ground.

For information on preparing for flooding visit the FloodSafe website at www.floodsafe.com.au

For information on river heights, weather radar, rainfall figures and river warnings visit www.bom.gov.au/nsw/warnings

If emergency help is required call the NSW SES on 132 500 or 000 if it is a life-threatening emergency.

New Zealand | Life Flight team makes multiple rescues in Kaitoke Gorge

Four of the people rescued on the riverbank as the helicopter lowers into the Kaitoke Gorge.  Photo Credit: Life Flight
Four of the people rescued on the riverbank as the helicopter lowers into the Kaitoke Gorge. Photo Credit: Life Flight

Late this morning Police Search and Rescue notified Life Flight that nine people were missing after going into the gorge yesterday afternoon.  

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was in the process of transporting a medical patient from Paraparaumu when notified of the missing group.  After transporting the patient to hospital and refuelling, the helicopter with a Wellington Free Ambulance Paramedic and a Police SAR staff member headed to the search area just north of Twin Lakes in Upper Hutt.

As the helicopter entered the search area the team was notified by Police Comms that three of the people had made their way out but there were six people still stranded up the river.

“After a short search we located the missing people on the river bank a few kilometre up the river” says Dave Greenberg, Life Flight Crewman.  “Due to the windy conditions in the gorge we dropped off the paramedic and policeman before returning to the river and rescuing the stranded people two at a time.”

The helicopter made three trips to the group, picking up two people at a time.

“Our pilot Dean did an amazing job hovering just above the riverbank so we can get the people into the helicopter” says Greenberg.  “It was very windy down there and the gorge was quite narrow so there was not a lot of room for him to manoeuvre”.

The six people were tired and cold but otherwise OK.   They were transported to waiting police and Wellington Free Ambulance crews who were able to check them out.

The Life Flight Trust is a charity providing air rescue and air ambulance services. It operates the Wellington based Westpac Rescue Helicopter and a nationwide air ambulance service. It relies on support from the public and sponsorship from partners such as Westpac to provide these services. Further information can be obtained from www.lifeflight.org.nz