As floodwaters began to rise in the western NSW town of Moree, members of the 1st/19th Royal NSW Regiment (RNSWR) were on hand to assist with emergency response and recovery.

Many of the unit’s personnel call the Central West home.

Platoon Commander with Bravo Company 1/19 RNSWR, Lieutenant Eric Wong, along with all the 1/19 personnel committed to Moree, is a reservist from the Central West, based in Orange.

“It feels really good to be helping out in a community that we are also part of,” Lieutenant Wong said.

“All my team are part-timers and they all have been very positive and focused on helping their fellow community members.”

The 1/19 team tapped in to replace elements of 41 RNSWR, a reserve unit from northern NSW, which had arrived in Moree before the flood event.

Personnel were faced with a rapidly escalating situation and were tasked with sandbagging and evacuations.

The contingent was also tasked by the Emergency Response Coordination Centre with rapid damage assessment, which involves moving into damaged properties, taking photographs and collecting data to help make an assessment as to how much damage a property has sustained and whether it is habitable.

This work, in difficult and demanding conditions, paves the way for other agencies to come through, clean out and assist in enabling residents to return to their properties more quickly.