Volunteers and staff from the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) and the State Emergency Service (SES) are stepping up to assist health officials with the infrastructure and logistics needed to fight the current Delta strain of COVID-19 in multiple locations across the State, including Dubbo and Wilcannia.
Following a request from NSW Health, Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott said more than 2000 RFS and SES members have been deployed, with many more on standby.
“We have a long tradition of our RFS and SES members coming forward to help our communities, and once again they have again shown their professionalism and flexibility during a time of crisis,” Mr Elliott said.
“RFS volunteers and staff are currently assisting with the distribution of personal protective equipment, packing and delivering hampers to people experiencing difficulties in isolation, and establishing and maintaining vaccination centres and testing facilities. There is also a major logistical operation underway to deploy and establish the RFS base camp at Wilcannia to house medical staff working in the area.”
“So far, more than 1000 SES members have assisted in the establishment and facilitation of pop-up COVID testing sites including one at Orange in the state’s Central West,” Mr Elliott said.
The SES Region Emergency Operations Centre in Bass Hill has been stood up, where both RFS and SES personnel are working alongside their counterparts from NSW Health, NSW Police, NSW Ambulance, the Australian Defence Force and Resilience NSW.
NSW RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers AFSM said RFS personnel are on hand 24/7 to assist the NSW community in times of emergency, from fires to flood and indeed this current health situation.
“I would like to take this time to praise our people for their tireless efforts each and every day. Their dedication and commitment to the community does not go unnoticed.”
NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York echoed this sentiment: “Our volunteers give up their valuable time to help their local communities, no matter what challenge they may be facing. I can’t thank them enough for their contribution.”
Thank you to the RFS and SES volunteers for stepping up in a crisis to provide support to their communities.