Multi-agency training boosts High Angle Rescue response

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Twelve emergency service volunteers from across Victoria gained valuable experience simulating High Angle Rescue scenarios in picturesque Marysville this weekend.


The cohort, which is made up of both Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) and Country Fire Authority (CFA) personnel from Alexandra SES, Wandin CFA and Monbulk CFA, will be put through their paces by a team of six VICSES High Angle Rescue Instructors in order to gain certification to respond to high angle emergencies.

VICSES High Angle Rescue Operators are often tasked with responding to precarious incidents in hard-to-reach, remote terrain throughout Victoria, alongside CFA and other emergency service partner agencies.

This includes working closely with specialist Victoria Police Search and Rescue Squad members and general duties police to safely locate and access patients.

The four-day training block saw VICSES and CFA volunteers gain experience working closely together through a range of challenging High Angle Rescue scenarios in both wilderness and industrial settings, while developing important teamwork and inter-agency relationships.

The training sessions required volunteers to problem solve and work efficiently to safely traverse the terrain, while also navigating adverse weather conditions.

High Angle Rescue crews, particularly in regional Victoria, are often coordinated in partnership between VICSES and CFA, and involve volunteers from both emergency services.

The weekend’s training event follows similar High Angle Rescue training sessions completed by both agencies at the Grampians and at Wonga Park over recent weeks.

In the last 12 months, the combined team of VICSES Marysville and Alexandra Units alongside Yea CFA have attended 21 High Angle Rescues, while across the state VICSES volunteers have received over 135 requests for assistance with high angle rescue incidents.

Quotes attributable to VICSES Operations Officer, Technical Rescue, Andrew Feagan

“It’s been fantastic to see so many volunteers, both from VICSES and CFA, seeking to upskill and improve their response capabilities to better support their communities.

“Technical Rescue, and particularly High Angle Rescue, is a unique skillset that is an important aspect of VICSES’ emergency capability, and these sessions are a great opportunity to strengthen our capacity in a challenging and dynamic way.

VICSES enjoys working alongside CFA as a partner agency, and any opportunity we have to train and learn alongside each other will only improve our ability to respond in the event of an emergency in the future.”

Quotes attributable to Wandin Fire Brigade Captain, Darryn Goss

“With tourism on the rise and people getting into the outdoors more, there’s greater risk of falls and injuries particularly when hiking in unknown terrain. This course is giving us an important skillset to undertake high angle rescues when required and will also compliment Wandin and Monbulk’s Road Crash Rescue capability when responding into our local mountainous terrain.

“While it’s been a really challenging course, it’s been great to have this opportunity alongside our VICSES partners. Training courses like these are fantastic, they boost our capability to provide further protection to the community whilst building rapport with our Emergency Services.”

 ** this is a VICSES media release **


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Submitted by CFA Media