VICSES in the news: 2021 in review

VICSES in the news: 2021 in review

22/12/2021, 5:10 PM


At the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES), we’re celebrating the end of 2021 by taking a look back at some of the events which shaped our lives this year.

From flood events to interstate deployments; daring rescues atop hillsides, and under heavy canopy; road crash rescues; search operations; in freeze and fog, over night and day; our volunteers have consistently been among the first to respond.

Over the course of 2021, our volunteers faced challenges they’d never met before; responding in a pandemic, through a double La Niña weather event, through multiple lockdowns and storm events.

We take a look back in our 2021 recap video at some of the big moments from this year. When we thanked the volunteers for their service in May, by celebrating the rescue of William Callaghan, we didn’t yet know how challenging, and rewarding, the year would become.

While much of the coverage reflects our mission to educate and inform the public about disaster resilience, the major operations carried out by our volunteers during 2021 received widespread coverage across the country on all networks.

From community engagement to practical support, in 2021 our volunteers have, time and again, played a critical role in helping their communities respond to severe weather events.

In 2021, our VICSES volunteers have provided assistance and support as they answered over 43,000 calls for help, which cemented 2021 as the busiest year in the agency’s history.

Our volunteers were out in force for storm and flood events throughout the year, and the earthquake which struck near Mansfield. As the control agency for storm, flood, earthquake, tsunami and landslide events throughout Victoria, our volunteers are always out in front.

As they assisted with community preparedness and response, our volunteers performed rescues and extractions from floodwater; conducted temporary repairs to damaged buildings; cleared hazardous debris from roads and thoroughfares; assisted with evacuation; helped other agencies, and each other.

Our 5,000 volunteers are a diverse and highly-trained group of first responders whose work is so multi-faceted, as you can see from the media coverage they receive.

From road crash rescues to statewide emergency management, our volunteers are part of what makes Victoria such a special place to live.