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March 3, 2024

Exercise Pelican SES rescue training in Lismore

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Exercise Pelican staged rescues on the Wilsons River. Photo supplied.

If the fires and floods in recent years have taught us anything, it is that preparation is key to minimising the impacts of disaster on local communities.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) took another step toward enhancing its flood rescue capabilities by developing the skills of volunteers through an interagency training exercise held on the weekend.

An interagency training exercise

Exercise Pelican developed the skills of volunteers through an interagency training exercise with police and other rescue services. Photo supplied.

More than 150 people took part in Exercise Pelican, a one-day training event on the Wilson’s River, which saw emergency services combine forces to simulate real-life flood rescue scenarios to improve techniques and response times during severe weather events.

The training exercise follows last year’s unprecedented flooding with simulated in-water and on-water flood rescue exercises, mass rescues and evacuations during a flood, and saw dummies and real people pulled to safety.

An Incident Management Team was also in the training environment at the NSW SES North-Eastern Zone Headquarters in Goonellabah as part of the exercise, further developing emergency management techniques and response capabilities in the NSW SES.

NSW SES coordinated the training exercise

As the lead agency for flood rescue, the NSW SES coordinated the training exercise which involved teams from Fire and Rescue NSW, the Volunteer Rescue Association, NSW Police, NSW Rural Fire Service and Marine Rescue.

NSW SES Acting Assistant Commissioner, Greg Swindells, said the NSW SES has the largest contingent of trained in water flood rescue operators. ‘We want to continue building our flood rescue capability through information
sharing and partnerships on a state, national and international level.’

‘As part of this exercise, volunteers not only refined and learned new skills, but were also able to meet, connect and share techniques with other emergency services personnel who work alongside each other during flood events.’

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500. In life threatening situations, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

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