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SES volunteers support Gippsland fire response

Published 30/01/2013

Volunteers from the Malvern and Waverley Units of Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) have returned from a four-day deployment providing vital support to the fire response in East Gippsland over the long weekend.

The group began their first of three night shifts last Thursday, as part of the Staging Area Management Team at the Heyfield CFA Staging Area.

The CFA Heyfield Staging Area, based at the Gordon Street Recreation Reserve in Heyfield, included a DSE Basecamp providing sleeping capacity for 500 emergency volunteers and workers as well as 24 hour catering, equipment replacement, showers and amenities and first aid and medical services.

Malvern volunteer Clifford Heri assumed the role of overnight Staging Area Manager, which saw him manage a small team to perform duties including:

  • Traffic management and tracking of the number of crew members in the staging area;
  • Liaison with DSE Base Camp Manager to provide accommodation for incoming crews;
  • Providing site orientation for crews;
  • Liaising with the catering team to ensure availability of hot meals for incoming teams;
  • Liaison between strike teams and Duty Maintenance Officer for vehicle maintenance requests; and
  • Liaison with staff at the Incident Control Centre.

Mr Heri said that on their busiest shift on Thursday night/Friday morning, the team checked in a diverse range of crews, including 18 CFA strike teams, 24 individual CFA crews, 69 DSE Slip On crews, 10 SES crews, 31 Parks Victoria crews, 74 contractors, six buses, two police cars and 11 media crews.

“It was a really interesting and rewarding experience. I had the opportunity to work closely with the DSE Base Camp Manager and really enjoyed the opportunity to work with a range of volunteers and workers from other emergency service agencies,” he said.