Top L-R: Bairnsdale CFA Captain Aaron Lee & Bairnsdale SES member Pat Dwyer. Lower L-R: Lakes Entrance CFA Captain Philip Loukes & CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan
CFA and SES crews in East Gippsland work as one on multiple types of rescues to help save lives.
Bairnsdale SES, Lakes Entrance Fire Brigade and Bairnsdale Fire Brigade utilise their incredible interoperability and strong working relationship to respond to rescues across Gippsland and the Alpine region.
The two emergency service agencies hold joint training exercises and are continuously increasing their communication together in preparation for incidents.
CFA Lakes Entrance Captain Philip Loukes said their brigade responds to more than 50 rescues each year, often alongside SES.
“It’s vital we work as one with SES and CFA for road crash and technical rope rescues,” Philip said.
“We’ve also got amazing equipment between us which we train with and it means we can use the tools we have effectively at rescues.
“The diversity of what we do is quite vast, we do road accident rescues, rope rescues and rescues of cars that might have gone down an embankment.”
Bairnsdale Captain Aaron Lee reiterated Phillip’s comments on training and said they like to get together on a regular basis because if you don’t practise it, you won’t remember it.
“Our rescue capability means we’re not emptying stations for an incident, we’re taking key people from key stations and allowing members to respond to other calls such as fires.”
SES Bairnsdale member Pat Dwyer said SES responded to around 1500 road rescues across the state last year, 200 up on the average.
“This year it looks as though that number could be increasing and our resources are stretched so it’s all the more important for us to come together and work as one.”
“We’re proud to say all of East Gippsland is manned by volunteers from CFA and SES. It’s one of the largest shires in Victoria are we’re on-call for the community 24/7 all year round.”