International flood rescue specialists arrive
Specialist flood rescue operators from Singapore will touch down in Sydney this morning to assist with the ongoing flood emergency across NSW.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the Singapore Civil Defence Force has dispatched a team of 18 flood rescue specialists.
“The flooding we are currently seeing, on top of disastrous flooding already this year, is stretching our emergency services to the very limit,” Ms Cooke said.
“This unprecedented flooding requires an unprecedented response and thankfully our emergency services friends from overseas are answering the call for help.
“This support will greatly help our local crews led by the SES who have not stopped responding to flooding for a single day this year. It will give all our wonderful volunteers and staff much needed relief as they gear up to respond to flooding well into next year.”
NSW State Emergency Service (SES) Commissioner Carlene York said the assistance would complement the 24 incident management personnel from New Zealand.
“Our volunteers have worked tirelessly, sacrificing many hours away from their loved ones and putting their own safety on the line to support communities through this devastating flooding,” Commissioner York said.
“The support from our overseas counterparts is greatly appreciated and will help our crews get through this difficult time.”
The flood rescue operators will undertake a practical induction before being deployed to Parkes and Wagga Wagga.
The international support has been requested by the SES and coordinated by Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) in accordance with the provisions under the United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group.
FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said the generous assistance will give all flood rescue crews a chance to recover from their around-the-clock operations.
“Flood rescue operators across the board have had to be rotated in-and-out of the field since the flood emergencies began,” Commissioner Baxter said.
“As you can imagine, we have to manage their fatigue during this ongoing crisis and this assistance will allow flood rescue operators to have a well-earned break.”