SES boat on patrol in Depot Hill as the Fitzroy River approaches 8.6m. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
SES boat on patrol in Depot Hill as the Fitzroy River approaches 8.6m. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

Invaluable lessons made for more efficient SES operations

INVALUABLE lessons from the 2011 floods made for much more efficient emergency operations this week.

More than 200 SES volunteers are involved in the flood recovery effort, including at Stanwell and Bajool where unprecedented flash floods left the towns devastated and facing a long recovery.

Eddie Cowie, SES local controller for Rockhampton region, said crews were holding up very well and fatigue management had become an integral part of planning.

"2011 showed that when emergency services groups and agencies work together cohesively, it allows us to plan a much more productive response.

"When we're aware of each other's volunteer resources, it makes for a really smooth recovery.

"Working closely with all agencies allows us to put our heads together to make best plan of attack and response, and far more efficient use of volunteer resources," he said.

"We don't want to waste their time."

SES teams from Proserpine, Middlemount, Nebo, Mackay, Whitsundays, Nebo, Moranbah, Emerald and Capella joined 150 volunteers from Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Emu Park, Gracemere, Marlboro and Mt Morgan to help with this week's floods.

An SES boat on patrol in Depot Hill as the Fitzroy River approaches 8.6m. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
An SES boat on patrol in Depot Hill as the Fitzroy River approaches 8.6m. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

"They're holding up well, but we're very aware of fatigue and appropriately locating crews to ensure their safety. We don't want them to get too fatigued and get hurt," Mr Cowie said.

Effective planning allowed volunteers to hit the ground running with jobs to do then spend three hard days working long hours before travelling home.

"When they go home, they know the three days have been really effective.

"They want to work hard while they're here, then go again.

"That's the nature of who they are," he said.

DIRTY WORK

  • More than 200 SES crews are still working on flood recovery.
  • So far crews have responded to almost 1000 jobs.
  • 17,000 sand bags were used to hold back floodwaters.


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