Wellington NSW SES Unit is busy preparing for the annual ‘Wellington Wombats’ Cave Rescue Exercise which will take place on 1-2nd June 2019 at Wellington Caves Complex. The exercise sees participants learning new skills and honing existing knowledge in the rescue of casualties in a caving environment.
This year 230 NSW SES members from all over NSW will converge in Wellington including 140 course participants, 38 Trainers and 42 Volunteer Support Crew Personnel. A large percentage of the participants come from Sydney and outside the Western NSW area.
The ‘Wellington Wombats’ program is designed to train the NSW State Emergency Service volunteers in correct cave rescue procedures, while allowing them to experience conditions vastly different to those they may be used to. The participants begin with rotation through various skills sessions on day one including rope and rescue skills before branching and putting those skills to use in various real cave scenarios. Wellington Caves are a group of limestone caves with many caverns in the riverine area. These caves are located in an outcrop of limestone which is about 400 million years old and this world-renowned local environment provides an ideal and unique training location.
‘Wellington Wombats’ has been held annually since 1994 and is a well-attended training program for the NSW SES. Brigid Rice, Wellington NSW SES Member and chair of the Wellington Wombats Planning Committee says “This is such a great exercise because it attracts volunteers from all over the state to Wellington”.
Mathew Pike, Wellington NSW SES Unit Commander says “This year is the events 25th Anniversary, making it the longest running emergency exercise in New South Wales (that we know of). It also puts Wellington on the map as this unique program is also the largest annual exercise run by the NSW SES”.
This event is supported by Dubbo Regional Council and the Wellington Caves Complex.