One of the NSW State Emergency Service’s newest zones has marked one year in operation, with 28 units across North Western Zone boosting capabilities and volunteer numbers.

Since being formed on February 20, 2023 North Western Zone has had 26 full time staff appointed to oversee significant incidents through a locally coordinated incident management team, and support units in operational response and training.

Zone Commander, Chief Superintendent Tammy Shepley said every unit has grown, including Tenterfield who is now online for general land rescue and Mungindi who has increased storm capability.

“Bringing the zone team together and building the relationships and trust with the units and communities to be able to build capabilities and work together has been a significant achievement,” Chief Superintendent Shepley said.

“We’ve also got more units and volunteers looking to increase their training further to learn flood rescue techniques and incident management.”

In the past 12 months, units across the zone have responded to more than 930 incidents for everything from flooding and storm response to community first responder calls, general land rescues and road crash rescues.

Chief Superintendent Shepley said uncross-unit collaboration during operational response and training exercises had also increased.

“It’s a lot more collegiate, which is great to see. The units are collaborating on joint training to enhance opportunities and share knowledge,” she said.

“We’ve also built on our inter-agency partnerships, particularly with our Queensland counterparts who we work closely with to support some of our more remote communities.”

As part of the formation of the zone 12 months ago, a new headquarters in Tamworth was established to coordinate large-scale emergency responses to storms and floods.

NSW SES Deputy Commissioner Daniel Austin said the NSW SES was committed to providing the highest level of service to the local community.

“Construction of a level three incident control centre in Tamworth to serve the North Western Zone is currently underway,” Deputy Commissioner Austin said.

“This will ensure local SES staff, as well as our partner agencies, have even more resources at their fingertips to deal with any situation they might come across.”

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