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Valuable insight for Melbourne volunteers

Published 13/08/2012

Central volunteers undertake road rescue training.

New techniques and technology were on show at a recent Road Crash Rescue training exercise for State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers in Central Region.

Eleven SES road rescue units operate in Central Region, which incorporates metropolitan Melbourne and its surrounds.

Four members of each unit attended the practical exercises, held at Springvale SES Unit over two weekends last month.

Volunteers heard presentations from Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance paramedic Rick Kehoe and SES South West Regional Training Officer Shane Reeves

A “pull apart” car was on hand for volunteers to practise patient extrications. Rick demonstrated a variety of extrication options and patient or medical assessment tools to help SES members minimise time delays on extricating casualties.

Representatives from PT Hydraulics and Holmarto – the manufacturers of the Road Rescue equipment that volunteers use – were also on hand to display new equipment and its capabilities.

SES Central Region Training Officer Jule Syme said the workshop aimed to expose volunteers to new technology and techniques that they could put into practice and to share expertise processes.

With 2005 model XR6 vehicles or similar used in exercises, volunteers were able to examine newer car technology at length to better appreciate how modern vehicles are put together and how, with reinforced metals, they can safely approach and work on them.

They were also given the opportunity to try out a new stabilisation system, cutting gear and a new glass management system that allows car windows to be removed in sections, minimising glass spray.

Central volunteers undertake road rescue training.

Jule said the Holmarto and Lucus representatives guided and assisted the volunteers in easier approaches to the different techniques when working on newer technology vehicles.

“They were there to have a try of the gear so they’re aware of what the tools are doing,” she said.

“We really pushed the new technology aspects as it provides volunteers with additional skills to ensure we can provide professional rescue services.”

Another focus of the training was looking at ways to quickly create space for ambulance officers to work in, as allowing them access to a casualty in a safe way can be a challenge in a vehicle that is significantly damaged during an accident. Safety for both casualties and volunteers is a priority.

Jule said the training had been very rewarding, with great feedback received from volunteers.

“We will consider running more of these sessions given the positive feedback,” she said.