Hills SES Unit nails the drill

THERE’S a storm and flood emergency at Balcombe Heights Estate every Wednesday — a mock one, at least.

Hills SES controller Evelyn Lester said SES volunteers complete basic rescue training at the estate in Baulkham Hills every Wednesday, 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

Storm preparation and response are  duties of the SES.

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‘‘We do all our training there, other than our swift-water rescue training which we do at Penrith Whitewater Stadium,’’ Ms Lester said.

Sixty volunteers turned up to Wednesday’s session which teaches you how to work in a storm, including working with a harness and chainsaws, how to conduct a land search and read a map.

‘‘We do our flood boat training on the Hawkesbury, the Nepean River, Parramatta and Sydney Harbour,’’ Ms Lester added.

‘‘We’ve been out four times in January.’’

She  said they would take their next intake of volunteers in April.

Details: Evelyn Lester, 9639 3434.

FAST FACTS:

■ The Hills Unit of the NSW State Emergency Service is a volunteer organisation with about 110 members who train every week in a wide variety of skills, including first-aid, damage response, community education and working with the media.

■ Each local government area in NSW is required to maintain a SES Unit.

■ Across the state there are 9000 volunteers in more than 230 units. These units are grouped into 18 divisions. The Hills is part of Sydney Western Division.

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