26 September 2023

Fire and rescue staff catch snakes

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Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has embarked on a large-scale operation to train more snake catchers in the Sutherland Shire.

Menai FRNSW Captain Brady Clarke said four firefighters from Menai and Bundeena FRNSW stations had completed a two-day course with the WIRES wildlife rescue organisation to replace retiring fireys who were taking their snake wrangling skills with them.

“The ‘viper-active’ firefighters have put aside any ‘hiss-terical’ fear of snakes to protect their local communities where bush meets the suburbs,” Captain Clarke said.

He said it wasn’t uncommon for snakes in parts of the Sutherland Shire to find their way into homes and seek refuge under furniture.

“We back onto a bushland interface, so it’s a perfect location to have this snake wrangling capability,” Captain Clarke said.

“We go all over the Shire, we’ve been to Cronulla, Engadine… we’ve been everywhere doing this,” he said.

“We joined this job to help people, that’s what we’re about and to be able to provide this extra level of support for people is fantastic”

Captain Clarke said the number of snake calls FRNSW did was increasing every year because the public now knew Fire and Rescue had this capability.

He said the FRNSW snake catchers augmented the existing service provided by WIRES, working in conjunction with the organisation across the State.

“You’re very apprehensive when you first come up against a snake but when you’re doing it over and over and over again, it becomes second nature and you can certainly read the behaviour of the animal,” Captain Clarke said.

A one-minute footage of the FRNSW snake catching training can be accessed at this PS News link.

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