04/07/2024 01:17 PM

Editor's note: Please see images from the conference here.

NSW State Emergency Service (SES) volunteer, David King, has spent almost 39 years rescuing animals of all kinds. His expertise spans from retrieving animals stuck in trees and deep in wombat burrows, to removing horses from septic tanks and rescuing cows trapped in mud.

Mr King’s efforts has seen the NSW SES become a leader in animal rescue operations in Australasia, which was showcased during the flooding events in 2022, where the service rescued more than 66,000 animals from flood waters across the state.

The NSW SES is dedicated to constantly enhancing its capabilities, including through international collaboration which saw Mr King recently invited to present at the British Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Association (BARTA) 2024 Conference.

The event held in Glasgow, Scotland, was attended by more than 100 veterinarian and rescue experts from 13 different countries, who shared their experiences and their knowledge on managing animal related incidents.

Mr King said engaging globally meant he was able to learn lots from other people to pass on to fellow animal rescue enthusiasts back on home turf. “I have met and exchanged ideas with an amazing group of people.

Everyone certainly knew of the NSW SES and the work we do with animals in our day-to-day operations and during large scale weather events,” Mr King said. "It was eye-opening to see the global differences in animal emergency response.

I am proud that NSW acknowledges the importance of animals in emergencies and supports extensive training for our emergency services.

Mr King said the bond between humans and animals is deeply intrinsic, and that quite often people will go to the aid of an animal, sometimes putting their own lives at risk.

“When we tell residents they need to evacuate their homes, they say, ‘I’m not leaving without my animals,” he said.

NSW SES Acting Deputy Commissioner for Capability and Training Dean Storey said it was an honour for an SES member to present and lead on a global stage.

"We're fortunate to provide specialised training that empowers our volunteers to learn from and contribute to international advancements in animal rescue," he said.

"We value these opportunities to exchange knowledge with other nations, enhancing our capabilities and ensuring we can deliver the best possible emergency response for our communities and their animals.

" Our furry friends depend on us, especially in emergencies. Visit the NSW SES ‘Get Ready Animals’ page to explore essential tips and resources to ensure your pets stay safe during crises. From evacuation plans to emergency kits, empower yourself with knowledge that could make all the difference.

Media enquiries: NSW SES Media on 1800 067 234

Tweed Coast Unit - 6 Centennial Drive Pottsville NSW
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