Tag Archives: SES

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.

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.

Queensland | Minister applauds Straddie bushfire heroes’ efforts

Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle today visited North Stradbroke Island to thank firefighters, police and other state emergency services personnel who have spent over a week battling a major bushfire during increasingly hot, dry and unpredictable conditions.

“Like most Queenslanders watching the devastating bushfire unfold on North Stradbroke Island over the last week, I was in awe of the sheer power of the fire and humbled by the mighty efforts of countless number of people who are determined to manage it,” Mr McArdle said.

“I congratulate and thank everyone involved for their ongoing efforts to safely reduce the level of damage that would otherwise be associated with a major Australian bushfire, especially one that is occurring in the middle of the hottest and driest part of our summer so far.”

Mr McArdle also paid tribute to Energex, Seqwater and Redland Council staff who, behind the scenes, worked tirelessly to maintain energy and water supply services on North Stradbroke Island, as well as in other parts of the Redland Council area.

“Despite the increasing demand associated with the scorching heat right across Queensland, Energex and Seqwater continued to work with Redland Council and other agencies to restore and maintain services,” he said.

“Energex, Seqwater and Redland Council worked together to restore and maintain water and power supply against increasing odds, including significant bushfire damage to assets.”

Energex and Seqwater are well advanced in restoring all permanent electricity and water services to the island.

Tasmania | Chainsaws stolen from SES during callout

On Wednesday 2 October 2013, 2 chainsaws were stolen from an SES rescue truck parked in Dover Street, Dover Village, a suburb of Launceston.  The incident happened at 10pm.

At the time SES volunteers were responding to a request for assistance at a residence in the street.

SES Assistant Director George Cretu expressed his disappointment at the theft.  “On Wednesday we had over 50 SES volunteers in the Northern Region alone working hard to assist the community with over 70 calls for assistance throughout the day.  For someone to help themselves to vital equipment in the middle of a call-out affects the ability of our organisation to undertake its vital community role during emergency incidents.  The SES has no great reserve of equipment so a loss like this has a big impact,” he said.

The chainsaws are Both Stihl saws, anMS362 valued at $1450 and the other an MS310 an valued at $1100.

Tasmania Police have been advised of the theft.  Anyone with information in relation to the theft is urged to contact Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000.

Victoria | Woman rescued in marathon operation – Blackwood

Ambulance Victoria paramedics joined with SES volunteers and Parks Victoria staff to rescue a woman injured in a fall in the Lerderderg State Park on Saturday afternoon.

Advanced life support paramedics were called just after one o’clock to treat a woman in her 60s who suffered shoulder injuries when she fell about two-and-a-half metres in the park.

Advanced life support paramedic Mark Lyszczarz said the woman was walking with a group of people when she was injured.

‘Thankfully they had a mobile phone and were able to call triple zero [000],’ Mr Lyszczarz said. ‘They were also able to give us their location thanks to the emergency location markers installed in the park by Parks Victoria.

‘We met Parks Victoria staff who took us about four kilometres along a track. From there we had to hike for almost an hour to reach the woman.’

Overhanging trees and a steep embankment made it unsafe to use a helicopter to winch the woman out, so paramedics requested the assistance of SES volunteers.

‘Two SES units were brought in for the difficult task of carrying the woman back to the Parks Victoria 4WD,’ Mr Lyszczarz said. ‘The SES crews did a fantastic job carrying the woman in a stokes litter over incredibly rough, steep and rocky terrain.

‘The woman was then placed into an SES 4WD and taken to the ambulance. She was taken to Sunshine Hospital in a stable condition.

‘The whole rescue operation took about seven hours, and wouldn’t have been possible without the co-operation of Parks Victoria and SES.’