VICSES receives thousands of calls for help following storm event

VICSES receives thousands of calls for help following storm event

29/10/2021, 12:38 PM

As of 11.30am, Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) has received 2,518 requests for assistance from Victorians across the state. 907 of these jobs have been cleared with 1,611 still active.

The busiest VICSES units have been Frankston Unit, receiving 168 calls for help; Ballarat (140); Whitehorse (106); Northcote (108), and Broadmeadows (103). 

Of the calls we have received, 1,936 relate to downed trees and 422 to building damage. 

Our volunteers are working diligently to answer these calls, however we are experiencing large call volumes to 132 500. We thank the community for their patience as our volunteers respond the incoming calls for help. ESTA is experiencing a very high number of calls for SES Storm queue with some flow-on effects for Fire and Police. 

Some callers are experiencing long wait times or initially not getting through at all. If you have been affected by this, please consider the following options: 

  • If your emergency is life-threatening, please call 000
  • If your issue is not an emergency, and an arborist or private contractor can help in the coming days, please make these arrangements if you can. This will free up our crews to reach Victorians with the most urgent requests for assistance. 
  • We refer many of the requests we receive to other responsible agencies like your electricity supplier - in the case of downed power lines - or your local council. Consider contacting them in the first instance, if they would usually help.
  • If you need us, keep trying and please be patient as we work through this large spike in requests from the community. 

With significant weather moving across the state, we urge Victorians to stay safe and use common sense if out and about. We’re asking the community to respect the closure of parks and forests, even though the easing of COVID-19 restrictions today will allow travel between Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria.

If you’re out and about, please plan your journey. Take care and wait until the severe weather has cleared rather than putting your family at risk.  

If you require VICSES help, please call 132 500, or if you are calling in regards to a life threatening emergency, ring Triple Zero (000).

Quote attributable to State Agency Commander David Baker: 

“If you don’t need to be outside, don’t be outside. If you’re on the road take all necessary care, drive to conditions, beware of trees; if you need our assistance call 132500; if it’s life-threatening call Triple Zero.”