READY TO HELP: Members of the Lismore SES Unit at their HQ on Thursday morning ask the community to take every precaution in the current weather as roads continue to flood. L-R (back) John Stirling, Nick Rose, (front) Cheyne Paul and Jason Balderi check equipment.
READY TO HELP: Members of the Lismore SES Unit at their HQ on Thursday morning ask the community to take every precaution in the current weather as roads continue to flood. L-R (back) John Stirling, Nick Rose, (front) Cheyne Paul and Jason Balderi check equipment.

From fires to floods: No ‘down time’ for local heroes

AS THE rain hammers down around the region, most of us scurry from car to home, shops, workplace or school drop-off in an effort to stay dry.

But for one group of dedicated volunteers, the weather means they are on-call to assist the community 24/7 and sometimes getting soaked is the least of their worries.

At the Lismore State Emergency Services headquarters, some of the 80 plus members are efficiently going about their preparation to be ready at a moment’s notice.

It’s change from last month when our valiant SES were assisting NSW Rural Fire Service with the fires through providing logistics, administration, communications, chainsaw crews and strike team support.

SES public information officer Janet Pettit said the organisation is reminding people to “stay alert not alarmed”.

“Our other message is, ‘We are getting ready so you should too’,” she said.

“From Tweed to Numbucca we have had 727 RFA (request for assistance) since February 5 and we undertaken 49 flood rescues, mostly for people who have either inadvertently of deliberately driven into floodwater.

“Currently have 63 RFA outstanding and our SES members and supporting agencies have done an amazing job helping people with leaking roofs and trees down on properties and on roads.”

Ms Pettit said there has been no real down time for the SES volunteers after they have been supporting firefighters through the terrible bushfire season.

“Our members have done an amazing job supporting the Rural Fire Service and other agencies throughout the bushfires,” she said.

“Now they are doing an equally amazing job with the storms and flood incidents.”

While the majority of their RFA have some from the Tweed region, particularly areas affected by tides, Ms Pettit said the uncertainty of the weather over the next week means everyone should stay aware of rainfall predictions.

“There is also a Floods Near Me App people can download,” she said.

More details on staying storm and flood safe at https://www.ses.nsw.gov.au/



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