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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

NSW flood rescue fleet upgrade hopes to save more lives

An emergency fleet upgrade will benefit NSW's flood-impacted Central West and Northern Rivers, and deliver on recommendations to improve disaster response.

The NSW State Emergency Service has unveiled a new headquarters in Sydney to mark a 40-year milestone, along with a major upgrade of its flood rescue fleet.

The purpose-built $1.6 million facility at Auburn in the city's west, was opened by SES Commissioner Carlene York and Emergency Services Minister Jihad Dib on Sunday.

It replaces those built almost 40 years ago and provides garages to house advanced rescue vehicles and boats, storage for rescue equipment, offices, a training room, kitchen facilities, change rooms and a laundry.

"We can now house significant assets and personnel at Auburn, which means in times of flood and storm, we will be able to deploy people where they're needed, right across the zone," Ms York said.

Delivery has also begun of almost 200 new SES vehicles as part of a $25 million fleet upgrade following the recommendations of the Independent Flood Inquiry to improve NSW disaster response capabilities.

Record flooding last year resulted in more than 80,000 calls for help to the service statewide. 

The new assets include 40 inflatable rescue vessels, 50 ark angel inflatable rescue rafts, 10 high clearance trucks, eight light flood rescue vehicles, 30 command vehicles and two heavy rescue vehicles.

Crews will be able to communicate using 4G and satellite networks to stay connected and overcome communications black spots.

The rollout will prioritise parts of the state most vulnerable to inundation with units in the Northern Rivers, Central West and Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley already receiving equipment.

Mr Dib said flood-impacted communities in the Central West and the Northern Rivers would particularly benefit.

"This is about more than a building, or cars or trucks or boats," he said.

"This is about the ... strategic investment in the safety of the people of NSW and supporting our wonderful volunteers with the resources they need to continue their vitally important work."


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