VICSES personnel continue to support flood-affected parts of NSW

VICSES personnel continue to support flood-affected parts of NSW

01/04/2022, 8:48 AM

Together with our partner agencies, Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) volunteers are continuing to support flood affected communities in northern NSW with official requests for assistance into NSW received, and personnel deployments beginning today.

The taskforce — to be sent to Coffs Harbour this morning — is made up of 45 personnel from both VICSES and Country Fire Authority (CFA) along with 12 vehicles which departed yesterday, en route to affected parts.   

Earlier this week, the New South Wales State Emergency Service (NSWSES) requested support from Victoria through the State Control Centre, with the first VICSES-led task force departing today, to support the effort in the northern rivers region of NSW.

The request is specifically for two General Rescue Storm Taskforces. As the teams arrive, the VICSES volunteer general rescue crews will relieve local NSWSES crews, and respond to new jobs as they come through the system.

This will include removal of downed trees from thoroughfares; temporary roof repairs; flood mitigation, such as sandbagging and water diversion, but their work will be highly varied as the extent of the damage emerges.

The VICSES members are from across Metropolitan Melbourne; the South West; Mid West, and North East Regions of Victoria.

The crews will travel for a day and work for three; travelling back on Tuesday 5 April.

Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) is coordinating Victoria’s multi-agency requests with the National Resource Sharing Centre (NRSC).

Currently NSW is experiencing one of its biggest flood events in several decades, with above average rainfall recorded across much of the state.

Victoria may be requested to provide additional resources to various locations in Northern NSW, as well as the state’s mid and north coast.

Victoria’s strong and ongoing relationships with other states mean we can share personnel; skills; knowledge; equipment and experience.

On the last deployment to NSW, VICSES sent 121 personnel to northern NSW, including 93 volunteers and 28 staff. Similarly, NSWSES crews supported Victoria following the severe storms in late October 2021.

Quotes attributable to VICSES State Agency Commander, Geb Abbott:

“As an agency we have a strong and ongoing commitment with our counterparts’ interstate, and we will do whatever we can to assist”.

“As we continue to see the impacts of flooding in Northern NSW, we expect our volunteers’ role to be significant. Many of the impacted areas have already seen severe flooding earlier in March”.

“Our volunteers have once again answered the call, leaving work and family commitments behind to assist the flooding situation in NSW. We thank those volunteers who are assisting, and also send our thanks to their employers who have released them for deployment at short notice”.