Port Macquarie SES Unit takes out 2019 State Disaster Rescue Challenge

Port Macquarie’s SES unit are still on a high after claiming top honours at the NSW State Disaster Recuse Challenge over the weekend.

The challenge was held in Wollongong on May 26-27 and the team competed against the best eight teams in New South Wales to come out victorious.

Unit commander and rescue team leader, Michael Ward said he was incredibly proud of the efforts of his team.

“I am so proud of all the work the team put in and we are now going to represent all of NSW at the National Disaster Challenge later in the year.

“Coming home we are elated and exhausted but so proud.”

Mr Ward said the local unit enjoys going to challenges like this to see how they stack up with other units around the country.

“For us we want to make sure we are at the top of our game and the challenge is a great way for us to benchmark ourselves against other units,” he said.

‘Two years ago we had a team go to the national challenge and we won and we are hoping to go back and give it another great go.

“This time around we have a new team with a range of experience levels. Our newest member has only been in the SES for 18 months and our most experienced member has been in SES for more than 16 years.

“In 2019 the rules also stated we needed to have a gender balance and four of our seven person team are female which we are also really proud of.”

He said at the challenge, called Exercise Thunderstruck was held at Albion Park in Woolongong and the teams skills in rescues, storms and first aid were tested.

“There were a number of scenarios we had to work through including rescuing a skateboarder swept away in flood water.

“In another one we needed to evacuate a nursing home with 15 dementia patients.

“We also participated in four learning symposiums which included one of rescuing large animals. This was great especially for our newer members as that is something we are called out to.

“We can’t wait for the national challenge later in the year.”

This article was originally published in the Port News and is republished here with permission. Please follow this link to the original article: https://bit.ly/2K7VcXX

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