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”.