Expert help ready with SES

October 14, 2016

The North East (Hume) Region is now a safer place thanks to the combined skills and training of specialised ‘‘technical rescue’’ operators from SES and CFA.

Hume Region Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and CFA (Country Fire Authority) members joined forces again in Benalla to load the new Steep and High Angle Rescue Trailer in readiness to be deployed to the next call for expert help.

SES and CFA volunteer and staff teams have been training together for several months as part of a statewide multi-agency specialist team.

These rescue specialists and their life-saving gear are now in key locations across the Hume region at Wangaratta, Mount Beauty and Wodonga.

The Steep and High Angle equipment and personnel can rescue people trapped in steep, slippery and often tricky situations.

Different equipment and techniques are used depending on the steepness of the slope at the scene.

This highly-skilled team has already responded to challenging emergency rescues at the Beechworth Gorge, Jubilee Falls (in the Warby Ranges) and in the Mt Buffalo National Park.

The new technical rescue gear and trailer includes:

●Various ropes and lifting gear with the ability to rescue babies up to larger adults; and

●Rescue packs that have been purpose-designed and made in Australia.

‘‘The new trailer and all the rescue equipment has been designed to be fully integrated, for use by both emergency services resulting in the most effective, efficient and safe rescues,’’ SES regional spokesperson Neil Payn said

‘‘These types of rescues are often in remote or very dangerous environments, so maintaining physical fitness is also a vital part of the team’s training.’’

‘‘This is just another example of the emergency services working and training together to improve the safety of our community,’’ CFA Operations manager Trevor Logan said.

‘‘Our combined emergency response will also be boosted with extra High Angle and Steep Angle courses being run before Christmas.’’

Stay safe

If you’re heading off the beaten track there are six simple steps to take to make sure you are never in the situation to need rescuing, SES and CFA advises locals and tourists to:

●Listen to local emergency broadcaster radio stations for dangerous weather conditions or other emergency advice that might need you to change your plans;

●Be prepared for a sudden weather change and ensure your footwear and clothing is suitable for where you are going;

●Plan your walk or adventure activities within your physical capacity and level of experience;

●Organise a group of at least four people. Tell others where you are going and when you plan to return;

●Don’t go too close to the edge for that special photo; and

●Consider installing the Emergency Plus app on your smartphone. With mobile reception, it can give you GPS latitude and longitude for your location.

If you get lost, trapped or injured:

●Stay where you are. Try to work out your exact location to help rescuers to find you;

●Send for help and phone Triple Zero 000; and

●Make your location as visible as possible.

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