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Wedderburn residents ready for anything
The country town of Wedderburn in the state's north-west hosted its second annual Emergency Services Day on 8 December, bringing primary school students and first responders together in a relaxed environment.
The day kicked off with a parade of emergency services vehicles around the town, while around 80 Prep to Grade 4 students and their teachers lined the streets and looked on.
"We're trying to get children to learn more about emergencies and what to do in an emergency, bring the community together to work together and foster great relationships," said event coordinator SES Volunteer Support Officer Sandra Koole.
The students then walked to the Community House, where they participated in a range of activities organised and run by local agencies including Victoria Police, Wedderburn Fire Brigade, Loddon Shire, L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program, SES, Ambulance Victoria and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
"We want the kids to be familiar with us, with our faces, with our equipment and with our car so that any time there's a real-life situation where there's a medical emergency, they may not be so scared and may be more able to cope," said Lisa Barrass of Wedderburn CERT
The roles and responsibilities of emergency services were explained to the kids through demonstration and discussion, with an emphasis on forging relationships early and what to do if something goes wrong.
"We've seen children, at times, shy away from police because of what other adults have said to them about us. This is basically a breakdown to say to kids 'We're here to help'," said Senior Constable Denis Farrell.
Wedderburn Fire Brigade showed the kids how the hoses work and also gave them some information on home fire safety.
"Staying low, opening deadlocks, calling Triple Zero and getting out of the house so they stay out of the smoke [is key]," said Captain Andrew Villani.
Year 11 students were also on hand to help the emergency services with their demonstrations.
Many thanks to the Wedderburn Lions Club for providing a delicious lunch and Wedderburn Community House for hosting the event once again.