Sydney | 20 Feb 2012
Ten people have been single-handedly rescued from floodwater by a NSW SES volunteer in Sydney overnight.
Robert McFarland, from the SES City of Sydney Unit was first on the scene in his role as a council worker for the City of Sydney. He arrived at Joynton Street in Zetland shortly after 10pm where he found several people trapped in vehicles that were submerged in water that was about chest height.
Being a specially trained Flood Rescue Operator, Robert managed to safely rescue 6 people and with the help of other emergency service personnel he was able to get another 4 people out of their vehicles.
NSW SES Commissioner, Murray Kear has praised the efforts of Robert and the other emergency service members.
“Our emergency service personnel do a terrific job in helping people in times of crisis. Robert, in particular, has shown great dedication and courage to get these people out of their vehicles and to safety,” Commissioner Kear said.
“Robert is just one example of the 10,000 volunteers the NSW SES has across the state who give up their time to help people in times of crisis. The NSW SES has several specially trained Flood Rescue Operators that are on hand to respond to these types of situations,” Commissioner Kear added.
Having been a volunteer with the NSW SES for the past 20 years, Robert MacFarland is no stranger to flash flooding and says last night’s flood rescue was all in a day’s work.
“I just want to be able to help people,” he told a press conference earlier today. “However, it makes my job easier if people can remember to stay out of floodwater. If you see that the road is blocked, turn around and go back or call the SES on 132 500 for assistance.”
NSW SES Commissioner has urged residents to be prepared for the possibility of further flash flooding as storm season continues throughout the state.
“We are well into the storm season and this latest storm is just one example of how dangerous they storms be. I’d urge everyone to prepare their homes now by clearing gutters and downpipes and securing or putting away any loose items around the backyard that can blow around and cause damage,” Commissioner Kear explained.
“If you’re driving in bad weather, drive to the conditions and never drive, ride or walk through floodwater,” he said.
Learn how to be StormSafe .
For emergency help in a storm or flood call the SES on 132 500. Dial 000 in a life threatening emergency.