26 September 2023

Volunteers hit road for inter-state emergencies

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Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) and Country Fire Authority (CFA) volunteers have headed north to assist with clean-up efforts, following the devastating flood events in New South Wales.

Commending the volunteers’ commitment, VICSES said the taskforce of 38, including 22 highly-trained VICSES Community Engagement Facilitators (CEFs), usually worked on preparing communities for emergencies.

“The CEF team will visit those worst hit by the floods, provide situational updates, information about road access, housing, accommodation services, and other support services,” VICSES said.

“Our CEFs will work with the public from community hubs, attend community meetings, provide peer support and go anywhere they can be useful,” it said.

“We had an amazing response from VICSES volunteers when asked to assist, and have capacity for a further deployment if we are needed.”

VICSES said the importance of CEFs was highlighted by research which found that people living in smaller communities often did not know what was available, or when to ask for help, especially those living on isolated properties.

The Service said the VICSES volunteers on deployment came from Central, Mid West, South West, North West and North East Regions.

“Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers for giving up your time to help people in their moment of need,” it said.

“It was wonderful to note that, on International Women’s Day, there was even representation of men and women in the deployment, with a large contingent of our highly-skilled female members answering the call for help,” VICSES said.

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