Tag Archives: SES

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 | 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


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.

New South Wales | How to protect your pets during a storm

A hot day followed by heavy rain, hail, thunder and lightning are the hallmark signs of a typical stormy summer’s day and occur more frequently during storm season, which is from October through to March.

Since the beginning of the current storm season, New South Wales has experienced 40 storms, which has resulted in the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) responding to over 6550 calls for help from the public.

Sometimes we can take these storms for granted, but spare a thought for your furry family members who need to be taken care of during storms.

The NSW SES and the RSPCA have come together to remind pet owners of the importance of looking after their animals during a storm.

NSW SES Acting Commissioner Jim Smith is urging people with pets to plan ahead and create an emergency plan which includes what you would do with your pets during an emergency such as a storm.

“I want to remind pet owners to consider your animals when making emergency plans for storms and floods. The NSW SES Home Emergency Plan can assist with planning on what to do with your pets during an emergency,” said Mr Smith.

“Things to include in your plan may include whose responsibly it will be to bring your pet indoors before a storm and keeping your pet’s medications and vaccination papers handy in case you need to evacuate your property in a hurry,” Mr Smith continued.

In addition to companion animals, storms can also pose a risk to livestock with strong winds, heavy rain, hail and loud thunder. RSPCA NSW Chief Veterinarian, Dr Magdoline Awad said pet owners should take extra precautions to ensure animals are safe and unharmed.

“Many animals suffer from noise phobias and thunderstorms can frighten animals causing them to escape their homes in fear and injure themselves in the process,” said Dr Awad.  “Pet owners should ensure animals are contained in a safe, secure environment and have access to proper shelter.”

“Planning ahead is critical, and we urge people to include their animals when preparing their emergency plan. It is also essential to have all your pets microchipped with up-to-date details registered,” she added.

Mr Smith added, “It is important to protect your family and pets from storms and minimise damage to your property. By planning on what you will do with your pets, you and your household will know what to do before, during and after storms.

To make your own Home Emergency Plan and for tips on how to look after your pets during a storm visit: www.stormsafe.com.au

For more information about protecting your pet from loud noises, including storms, visit: http://www.rspcansw.org.au/learn/pet-hazards/loud-noise-phobia-safety

South Australia | SES thanks volunteers for a job well done

Last night 115 State Emergency Service volunteers worked tirelessly into the early hours of this morning clearing the remaining 120 jobs largely around the Campbelltown area. Local schools were also checked and made safe for children returning to school.

The SES has responded to in excess of 1200 incidents since the 100km/h winds battered the state on Monday night. The extreme heat that was felt for the greater part of last week has contributed to the stress placed upon trees causing a larger than expected number to be uprooted and drop large limbs.

The damage caused to metropolitan Adelaide was felt through impacts to power lines/transformers, road closures/blockages, and damage to public infrastructure and private property. Local government and councils continue to clean up the damage in parks and reserves, whilst SA Power Networks focus onrestoring power to approximately 700 customers.

The Emergency Services Minister, the Hon. Ian Hunter and local member the Hon. Grace Portolesi joined the SES Chief Officer, Chris Beattie, in meeting with operational volunteers over night at Campbelltown SES and visited a number of the operations being undertaken by SES volunteers.

Mr Beattie thanked CFS, MFS and DEWNR crews for their support in assisting SES volunteers at numerous jobs over the past few days with special thanks to the Salvation Army for feeding many hungry volunteers.
For up to date warnings and further information on the weather forecast please visit the Bureau of Meteorology’s website at www.bom.gov.au.

Queensland | Safety first in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Dylan

Coastal and island communities located between Ayr and Sarina are urged to put their safety first in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Dylan.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) advised that Tropical Cyclone Dylan crossed the coast near Hideaway Bay (east of Bowen) at approximately 3.30am as a Category 2 cyclone. It is now moving further inland and weakening.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews and State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers are currently assisting local residents with emergency response and have received around 90 requests for assistance in the past 24 hours.

Requests to the SES have stretched from Cairns to Gladstone and were concentrated around Mackay. Requests have included wind damage to property, leaking roofs, trees down and sandbagging.

QFES Commissioner Lee Johnson said residents should remain indoors as severe weather continues to impact the area.

“Damaging wind gusts to 120 kilometres per hour are currently occurring in coastal communities between Ayr and Sarina and will extend to adjacent inland areas later this morning,” Mr Johnson said.

“Destructive wind gusts to 140 kilometres per hour may still occur close to the system during the next few hours. Although these winds are expected to ease by late morning, it’s important for residents to remain indoors during these conditions.

“There is likely to be a number of hazards including fallen trees, power lines, debris and even possible structural damage to infrastructure and it is vital people do not explore collapsed buildings or go sightseeing.

“If electrical appliances in your home have been wet, do not use them until they’re checked for safety and ensure you boil or purify water until supplies are declared safe.”

Mr Johnson said coastal residents between Ayr and Sarina were likely to be affected by a dangerous storm tide on this morning’s high tide.

“People living in these areas should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to follow instructions regarding evacuation of the area if advised to do so by authorities,” he said.

“Heavy rain and flash flooding is also expected across the Central Coast and Whitsunday districts, so it’s critical for residents to remember: ‘If it’s flooded, forget it.’

“Under no circumstance should people enter flooded creeks or causeways by road or on foot. If you come across rising floodwaters, turn around and seek an alternative route.

“Parents are also asked to keep a close eye on their children who may be tempted to explore the area and play in floodwaters.”

Mr Johnson said SES volunteers were currently out in force working to assist the community but due to the demand on their workload it could take some time for them to reach you.

“The public are asked to remember that the SES is made up of volunteers dedicated to helping others and the SES will always put the safety of its volunteers first during adverse weather conditions,” he said.

“The SES will also assist the most vulnerable members of the community first so it is important able-bodied residents did everything they could to help themselves and their community instead of putting unnecessary pressure on emergency authorities.

“If your situation is life-threatening, ensure you call triple zero (000) immediately. Keep up to date with the movement and severity of the cyclone by listening to your local radio and monitoring the BoM website.”

For storm and flood assistance contact the SES on 132 500.

For further information on how to prepare your home visit www.getready.qld.gov.au and to keep updated on warnings monitor the BoM website at www.bom.gov.au.