A total of 40 NSW SES volunteers gathered over the weekend in and around Gravesend and Bingara for the annual “Fruit Bat” Weekend.
The aim of the Bingara Fruit Bat weekend is to upskill in Vertical Rescue techniques while keeping current with new techniques and equipment and importantly to learn from more experienced rescue operators.
40 NSW SES volunteers gathered last weekend in Gravesend and Bingara for the training weekend.
Members from across the North West of New South Wales came together for the weekend which was held on the Gravesend Water Tower and a cliff face just out of Bingara known as ‘6 mile.’
“The weekend was about ensuring our volunteers are skilled and ready for any emergency that may arise,” said Gwydir Shire Local Controller Peter O’Brien.
“Weekends like this are so important. They give our NSW SES members the opportunity to learn new skills while also ensuring they are at the right skill level to be carrying out vertical rescue operations” he said.
Over the two days, volunteers were tested through a series of scenarios.
Scenarios included recovering an injured worker who had fallen over a safety rail. Repelling down sheer, slippery and unstable slopes to retrieve back up the cliff face another injured bush walker while managing new equipment and techniques in an unfamiliar location.
“It was great to see so many volunteers participating in the workshop.”
“Our NSW SES volunteers already give so much time to their communities, it’s just great to see them all here, smiling and ready for a challenge,” said Region Learning and Development Officer Wes Macpherson.
With help from Bingara locals, members were able to simulate a real life recovery of an injured person from the depths of the water tower. This gave the members the ability to use skills they had learnt over the weekend, and put them into practice.
As one of the supporting agencies responsible for Vertical Rescues, the NSW SES has a nationally recognised training program that gives members the skills to effectively save lives.
The 40 volunteers from across the North West Region came from various Units including Bingara, Inverell, Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Deepewater, Armidale and Lightning Ridge.