New emergency service flood boats launched, mock rescue drill held

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More than 65 NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) flood boats were launched onto waterways across the state on Saturday (15 January), as part of a large-scale flood rescue exercise.

The exercise, which saw members from 53 units across the state all undertake the exercise in their respective local areas, was designed to test everyone’s skills with operating flood boats and rescue techniques.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke said SES volunteers had been kept busy over the past 12 months.

“Many of the volunteers that participated in this exercise have been kept busy with multiple deployments to flood and storm-affected areas of our State since storm season began in October,” Ms Cooke said.

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“Seven river systems across NSW are currently flooding so I want to thank every SES volunteer that has stepped up and put their training into practice to protect our communities.”

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said the exercise had become an important event in the service’s training calendar.

“While our volunteers weren’t together in the same location, we are still able to work on the same skills at the same time,” Commissioner York said.

“By training together, our volunteers can be as ready as possible to support their communities when needed,” she said.

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Commissioner York added that while NSW SES volunteers are ready to respond and help those in need, it was equally important community members also do what they can to keep themselves safe.

“That means being aware of and understanding your risk of floods,” Commissioner York said.

“Then also having a plan and emergency kit for you, your family and your animals in the event a flood does happen,” she said.

For more information on how to prepare for storms and floods, visit ses.nsw.gov.au. For information on weather warnings and the latest forecasts, visit bom.gov.au.