Wednesday, 23 May 2018 08:32

Bruthen builds its road crash rescue capacity

The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) Bruthen Unit had its skills put to the test last Wednesday night as four volunteers underwent the final step towards receiving their Road Crash Rescue (RCR) accreditation. All four volunteers were successful in achieving their RCR accreditation and will now assist their unit and neighbouring units with this capability allowing more support on the ground during a road accident emergency. The Bruthen Unit previously had four accredited RCR volunteers and will now have a total of eight. The aim of the road rescue program is to provide volunteers with the skills and knowledge required to access entrapped casualties using a range of techniques and to operate specialist equipment to undertake the rescue. It also covers the competency required, on arrival at the scene of an accident or incident, to conduct initial assessment, take action to maintain public safety and preserve the scene, and note and record details and information. Bruthen Unit controller, Nick Antonopolous, said this would allow the unit to continue its work safeguarding the community. “Our members give their time freely to help their community in times of need. It’s important they have the right tools and skills for the job,” he said. “We often respond to incidents on short notice at odd hours, so it’s important we are ready to go at all times – and we are.”

Before commencing the road rescue training the members had to satisfactorily complete their fundamentals, general rescue and first aid training. In preparation for the gruelling four-day / 30-hour accreditation process the students and their instructors, all of which are volunteers, took on an extra night of training each week to build the necessary skills, knowledge and techniques to take on the accreditation process. The Bruthen volunteers were given ongoing instruction, support and encouragement by Pat Dwyer, Karina Osgood and Josie Anderson from the Bairnsdale Unit. For several months leading up to the accreditation process the Bairnsdale volunteers tirelessly dedicated their time to help the Bruthen Volunteers for which the Bruthen members will be forever grateful. Bruthen SES meets weekly to train at their headquarters, Main Street Bruthen. VICSES members receive extensive training, regularly updating to ensure accreditation to the highest level and they’re always ready to go when an emergency strikes in the community. Preparation is vital and therefore a frequent and varied training calendar is scheduled to ensure operational readiness at all times. VICSES is Victoria’s response agency for flood, storm, earthquake, tsunami emergency and landslide as well as operating the largest road rescue network in Victoria. VICSES members also assist police, fire brigades and other agencies when required. For more information on VICSES and volunteering, visit the SES website.