Teams of NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) volunteers will be competing against one another in a series of challenges to see who will represent NSW in the upcoming biennial National Disaster Rescue Challenge in Western Australia.
Over the next few months, teams of volunteers will test their skills in scenarios involving land search and rescue, rescuing casualties from various heights and depths, and delivering first aid.
Commissioner of NSW SES, Carlene York, said the service’s volunteers do so much more than respond to storms, floods and tsunamis, and this national challenge was a great way to test those skills and capabilities, and learn new ways to tackle problems.
“Our volunteers are capable in road crash rescue, land search and rescue, vertical rescue and as community first responders,” Commissioner York said.
“The biennial National Disaster Rescue Challenge, which has been running since 1988, was designed to test these very capabilities.
“Every two years, our volunteers shine in the national event, and show the rest of the nation just how skilled they are,” she said.
Commissioner York said units from across the state have nominated to participate in local challenges to see who will progress to the state level challenge, where the winner of that will then represent the service at this year’s national challenge in Western Australia.
“Starting off, we have units from Dapto, Queanbeyan and the Southern Illawarra, competing in Wollongong this weekend (1 and 2 May),” she said.
“They will be put through their paces in scenarios such as lifting a large tree to rescue two people trapped underneath it, rescue people injured along a bush trail, and will even rescue a person that has fallen down a steep slope.
“It is incredible to see our volunteers so passionate about not just possessing the skills that drive our role in leading the response to storms, floods, and tsunamis, but in also specialising in other areas too.