Townsville SES to take on best in nation

Townsville State Emergency Services (SES) volunteers will represent Queensland at the National Disaster Rescue Challenge later this year after claiming victory in the state titles this weekend (4-5 May).

The winners overcame six other SES teams to earn the right to be crowned 2019 champions.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said the Townsville team was deserving of the title of State Disaster Rescue Challenge winner.

“I want to congratulate the team members on their hard-fought victory,” Mr Crawford said.

“I know they will do our State proud when they take on some of Australia’s best disaster rescue teams later this year.

“I also want to congratulate the other six teams for the skill they showed and the effort they put in to the two-day event. They should all be proud of their achievements.”

Mr Crawford said teams approached the challenge as though a disaster was affecting the host city Rockhampton.

“The scenario was the city in the grip of a severe weather event,” he said.

“Lives were in danger and emergency services were stretched.

“Seven SES teams were deployed across the community with no knowledge of the incidents they were responding to until they arrived on scene.”

Challenges included a mass casualty exercise that involved a collision between a passenger bus and a train, a search and rescue on the Fitzroy River, and an industrial incident at livestock sale yards.

Teams from Somerset, Rockhampton, Cairns, Townsville, Bundaberg SES Unit, Redland SES Unit and Warwick took part in the event.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the Challenge gave SES volunteers an opportunity to practice and further develop vital rescue skills.

“These skills will potentially provide life-saving support to Queenslanders in future emergencies,” Ms Carroll said.

“They are incredibly valuable to our agency and to the people of Queensland.

“Around 160 staff and volunteers from Fire and Rescue Service, Rural Fire Service and SES were involved in coordinating the scenarios and managing the event.

“I want to congratulate the winning team, the other competitors and everyone who ensured the event was a success.”

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