Tag Archives: SES

Queensland | SES volunteers work hard to complete tasks post Brisbane storm

State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers have responded to and completed more than 2,900 requests for assistance in response to the dangerous storm that hit the greater Brisbane  area recently.

SES Brisbane Region Manager Steve Waddell said SES volunteers had now completed every request for help following the destructive storm on Thursday, 27 November.

“Working in partnership and cooperation with Brisbane City Council, Queensland SES volunteers have contributed hundreds of hours of their own time away from their work, family and friends to assist Brisbane residents over the past week,” Mr Waddell said.

“The 2,900 requests for assistance that resulted from this storm demonstrate the large volume of requests SES volunteers can respond to and extensive time and work required to attend to these tasks, during a significant event.

“Many of the jobs the SES assisted with were for tarping of roofs and windows that had been destroyed by the storm.

These tasks can require volunteers to work at heights for long periods of time.

“Taskforces of SES volunteers from all across Queensland came to help their Brisbane SES colleagues to get the thousands of jobs done as quickly as possible.

“Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) urban firefighters and Rural Fire Services Queensland (RFSQ) volunteers also were on hand to support the SES with requests for assistance.

“I thank all those involved, especially the SES volunteers who contributed to helping the residents of Brisbane in their time of need.

It is an outstanding achievement to complete such a large volume of requests in just over one week.”

Mr Waddell said volunteers across the State were preparing for the upcoming weather ahead with widespread rainfall and thunderstorms forecast for Brisbane and surrounding areas this week.

“The SES is getting ready, but we’re also asking residents to prepare,” he said.

“Secure outdoor items, park your car under shelter, ensure you have an emergency kit and keep it in easy to reach space, disconnect electrical items and listen to your local radio station for advice and warnings.

“By being prepared, resilient and helping yourself and your neighbours first, you are also helping the SES by freeing up volunteers to help the most vulnerable members of the community first.”

New South Wales | SES crews have responded to more than 1,700 weather-related calls since Saturday

NSW SES volunteers have been busy overnight responding to more than 300 storm jobs across Sydney and the Illawarra after severe storms impacted the area.

Severe weather has been affecting New South Wales since Saturday which has seen the NSW SES receive 1,725 requests for assistance mainly for leaking and damaged roofs as well as trees down. Some of the worst affected areas have been in Sydney’s north in places like Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai and the Hawkesbury and further south around Bankstown and Camden.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast more storms for later in the week, likely to affect much of eastern and southern NSW. The NSW SES is urging residents to prepare their properties now to limit the amount of storm damage.

Some things you can do now to be prepared is:

-Clean your gutters and downpipes

-Secure or put away any loose items around your yard or balcony

-Park your vehicle under cover or away from trees and power lines

-Stay up to date with all the latest weather information at www.bom.gov.au

For emergency help in a storm or flood call the NSW SES on 132 500. Dial 000 (triple zero) in life-threatening situations.

More StormSafe tips are available at: www.stormsafe.com.au

New South Wales | SES advises residents to prepare for heavy rain expected in Eastern NSW

After a week of severe storms in many areas of New South Wales, notably a new record of seven consecutive storms in Sydney, the weather is set to change again.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology a broad low pressure trough over northern New South Wales is expected to deepen during the second half of the week in response to an approaching upper-level system, then shift gradually northwards. Many eastern and northern districts are likely to see a resurgence of unsettled weather notably heavy rain and storms. For the latest forecast see: http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/forecasts/state.shtml

Rain, possibly heavy, will affect coastal NSW on Thursday as well as the Northern Tablelands and North West Slopes. On Friday the northern coastal areas and Northern Tablelands and North West Slopes will be affected. The BoM has forecast windy conditions in some coastal areas including Sydney (for Thursday).

This heavy rain may lead to local flooding and in country areas could make causeways dangerous. The NSW SES is asking people in affected areas to prepare now for the possible heavy rain by cleaning gutters and downpipes. Should a Flood Watch be issues, lift pumps and relocate livestock and equipment to higher ground. Do not drive through flooded causeways and stay out of flooded streams and rivers as water can be deeper and faster flowing than it looks and contain hidden snags and debris.

If you need more information on preparing for possible flooding, go to www.floodsafe.com.au

If you need emergency assistance in floods or storms, call 132 500 or 000 if it is a life-threatening emergency.

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

NWRFloodboatWorkshop

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 | 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.

South Australia | New 25 km/h speed limit past emergency roadside incidents

New laws that require road users to travel at 25 km/h past emergency roadside incidents will come into effect on 1 September 2014.

The emergency service speed zone will help protect frontline workers and volunteers from the CFS, MFS, SES, Police and SA Ambulance while they carry out vital emergency work.

When you see a stationary emergency vehicle with red or blue flashing lights, you must slow down to at least 25km/h.

Volunteers and emergency services staff are often called on to provide life saving assistance at roadsides, or it may be that a police officer has pulled over to question a driver.

By slowing down, we can all help them to safely get on with their job.

25 km/h max

  • An area of road in the immediate vicinity of an emergency service vehicle that has stopped on the road and is displaying a flashing blue or red light; or
  • Between two sets of flashing blue or red lights that have been placed by an emergency worker at either end of a length or road on which an emergency vehicle has stopped.

An emergency services vehicle includes:

  • Ambulance
  • Fire service vehicle (CFS, MFS or Federal Aviation Rescue)
  • State Emergency Services (SES) vehicle
  • Police.

More information:

 

 

New South Wales | Firies and SES volunteers put helicopter rescue skills to the test

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters and NSW State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers put their flood rescue skills to the test this week in a series of exercises conducted using FRNSW’s helicopter – FireAir1.

The exercises included rescuing people from the roof of a car and a house, simulated using specially constructed props from the NSW SES, which were partially submerged in water to simulate real-life flood rescue scenarios.

FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said training exercises like this were vital in maintaining and developing the skills of firefighters and other emergency service personnel.

“FRNSW is the largest provider of rescue services in NSW. Our aviation officers are highly skilled rescuers and it’s been a great opportunity for them to exercise their flood rescue skills in such realistic scenarios.”

NSW SES Acting Commissioner Jim Smith welcomed the opportunity for NSW SES Flood Rescue teams to be involved in this inter-agency training.

“Flood rescue is a combat role for the NSW SES with our flood rescue teams undertaking many flood rescues every year around the State. Our teams appreciate the opportunity to familiarise themselves with Level 4 flood rescue operations and develop their skills around aircraft in a multi-agency rescue environment,” Acting Commissioner Smith said.

“Training days such as these are invaluable in building relationships and networks across emergency services that promote more effective response under emergency conditions.”

Victoria | AG’s report on Managing Emergency Services Volunteers released

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the Victoria State Emergency Service (SES), both of which provide emergency response services for natural disasters, rely significantly on volunteers to perform their duties.

Volunteers perform essential operational and non-operational duties including firefighting, general rescue, road rescue, incident management, community education, catering, recruitment and fundraising. Volunteers also provide a workforce surge capacity during protracted major incidents such as Black Saturday.

CFA and SES’s volunteers number around 57 500 and 5 000 respectively. However, despite the significant reliance on volunteers, neither CFA nor SES has a sound understanding of the total number of volunteers needed to fulfil their operational requirements.

CFA does not know how many volunteers it needs and SES’ data on how many volunteers it has is unreliable. Neither agency can be assured that it has the capacity to respond to incidents when they occur because assessments of current workforce capacity overestimate their emergency response capabilities.

CFA and SES’s decentralised approaches to the recruitment, training and deployment of volunteers means neither agency can assure itself that these activities are effectively addressing workforce needs. CFA is in the process of implementing programs that aim to address these concerns, however, SES’ attempts to resolve these issues are presently inadequate.

Addressing these issues is critical to the long-term sustainability of these emergency services agencies.

Access the Report

Full report as HTML

Full report as PDF Adobe PDF (2.5 MB)

PDF of presentation

Victoria | SES welcomes AG’s report on managing emergency svs volunteers

Today the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office published its report on managing emergency services volunteers, presenting their audit recommendations of CFA and SES’ management of their volunteer workforce.

SES welcomes and accepts the recommendations of the Victorian Auditor-General’s report. Volunteers are integral to the work of SES and we value their immense contribution and commitment – last year SES volunteers contributed over 300,000 hours of their time to serve their community.

SES is developing an action plan for the implementation of all the report’s recommendations. This action plan will be completed by the end of March 2014. The issues and challenges identified by the Auditor-General, reinforce those identified by SES. We are working hard to address them and current initiatives include:

* Identifying improvements for our ERAS-e system

* A recruitment and retention pilot in the Central Region to inform the development of an organisational-wide recruitment and retention strategy

* A data integrity project that seeks to scope and prioritise enhancements to governance, systems, processes, training and documentation relating to key SES data

SES is working in partnership with CFA, and other agencies in the sector, to enhance our  volunteer capacity and capability.

Through the steadfast support and commitment of our volunteers SES is able to play a vital role in the Victorian emergency services sector, contributing to improving the safety of all Victorians.

Victoria | Cat-astrophe averted in Brimbank

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Two kittens were rescued from a storm drain over the weekend by volunteers from Victoria State Emergency Service’s Footscray Unit.

Six volunteers attended a ‘rescue animal’ call in Brimbank on Sunday to discover the cats who were clearly hot and bothered in the 40 degree heat.

SES Member Lachlan Scott said that, luckily, the kittens were within reach once the drain lid was removed.

“(They) were meowing extremely loudly and shaking through what we expect was a mixture of fear, exhaustion and the heat,” he said.

“After we had both kittens we offered them water and put them inside one of the vehicles with the air con on so they would start to cool down. We closed up the storm water drain and one of our members drove them to Lort Smith in the city for a check-up.”

The kittens are on their way to a foster home ahead of going up for adoption and are feline fine.