20/11/2023 03:42 PM

Eleven teams of NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) volunteers from around Sydney competed against each other this weekend in a series of rescue challenges.

The Metro Zone Disaster Rescue Challenge was the first of a series of events around the state where teams of volunteers test their skills in six scenarios involving land search and rescue, rescuing casualties, and delivering first aid.

More than two hundred NSW SES volunteers attended the event.

NSW SES Assistant Commissioner Colin Malone said the Disaster Rescue Challenge showed the Service's volunteers do so much more than respond to storms, floods and tsunamis.

“Land search and rescue, road crash rescue and vertical rescue are all key SES capabilities. The Disaster Rescue Challenge is a great way for our volunteers to hone their skills,” he said.

Teams tackle challenging scenarios including rescue from heights, mass casualty management, first aid, rescue from depths, building impacts and shoring, search, general rescue, and confined space rescue.

“It’s all about our volunteers getting together to learn and practice skills in realistic scenarios,” said Assistant Commissioner Colin Malone.

“Units that work effectively together in the Disaster Rescue Challenge bring those skills to real world operations. So events like this help build SES capability and safer communities,” he added.

The event also featured realistic injury makeup on 29 casualties, using a special technique called moulage.

Moulage is the art of applying mock injuries for the purpose of training emergency response teams.

“It’s important the scenarios are as realistic as possible,” said Metro Zone Disaster Rescue Challenge Exercise Director Jacqui Kenner.

“Simulating wounds, broken bones and impalement injuries helps prepare our members in case they are exposed to similar injuries in future operations.”

The Disaster Rescue Challenge has been running since 1988 and is open to all State Emergency Service organisations nationally. 

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500. In life threatening situations, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Media enquiries: NSW SES Media 1800 067 234 or media@ses.nsw.gov.au

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