September 23, 2020

Bingara SES spent Saturday undergoing flood, search and rescue training on the Gwydir River in Bingara as part of their ongoing training. The members utilised the local unit’s two boats to conduct the essential exercises.

SES training on the Gwydir River

“There have been some tragic events that have happened on the river, including the surf boat that overturned a few years ago,” said Bingara SES member Geoff Leech. “The idea of the swift water rescue training undertaken is to practice for events which hopefully never happen.”

“We could really use some new members. We’re are putting together a joint rescue exercise on Copeton Dam in about three weeks time; units including those from Armidale, Tamworth, Bingara and Warialda will come together to complete training, and it would be great to have a couple of new faces to come along too,” he said.

Training given through the SES is comprehensive and starts with advanced level first aid with additional skills and opportunities in search and rescue and boating skills, all very relevant to rescues conducted in the Bingara area.

Other activities undertaken in recent times have included mapping and navigation operations in Mount Kaputar National Park, search and rescue as well as flood rescue work on the Gwydir River.

This year alone the team has helped in floods in Tamworth, storm damage and roof repairs in Moree and a mountain rescue in Mount Kaputar. They have trained intensively for road crash rescue, as the service is oncall to attend such events, provide first aid cover for sporting events such as the rodeo or school sports and provide logistical cover to the fire brigade for bushfires, running out machinery and equipment as necessary.

“These are terrific skills to put on a CV and take with you in life. We are hoping this will attract some interested people,” he said. “We run a cadet training program through the schools in the area, including Bingara and Warialda, which is successful, but the students are not able to become full members until they are eighteen.”

Whilst the Bingara SES Unit are always ready to go, they are currently in serious need of volunteers to keep the unit viable in times of emergency. A training night is held fortnightly at the Bingara SES shed and further training opportunities are available. Joining the Bingara SES will see you mentored by other volunteers with a wealth of experience, including Bingara Citizen of the Year and Region Unit Commander, Peter O’Brien, with 35-years of service.

Are you available to join the SES? Anyone interested should speak to Peter O’Brien for further details: 0419 612 561.