Queensland Better Prepared

It’s still a sobering thought for many – This time, this day, 7 years ago as we reflect on the anniversary of the 2011 floods this week… But the message from authorities and the State Government is that we can be more assured than ever before.

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Coupled to the first-class work of our local Council and in line with Federal and State funding officials now say that we are now better equipped than ever before to face natural disasters with Emergency Services having equipped Queensland response crews with world-class rescue resources and training.

A key has been the establishment of the Fire and Emergency Services State Deployment Centre.

Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford says the State Deployment Centre is a first-class facility allowing Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DART) to deploy to any disaster, anywhere in the world.

The facility houses modern resources, including satellite systems, specialised tools to identify toxic atmospheres, motorised swift water rescue craft, life detection equipment and flexible habitats.

“Equipment caches are deployable anywhere in the world and allow Queensland crews to be self-sufficient for up to 14 days in a disaster area, without using the finite resources on the ground.”

Provided since 2011 are 11 new motorised swift water rescue craft, which are positioned around the state and provide revolutionary swift water rescue capabilities to local communities. Six additional craft due for delivery this year.

QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll says the nature of swift water environments meant training was always improving and adapting.

“Senior swiftwater rescue instructors have undergone internationally-recognised training and are ready for deployment into dangerous swiftwater environments.”

“The rescue craft are fitted with outboard motors and can be inflated in three minutes, meaning rescuers will reach people faster and get to previously inaccessible areas.”

“This is a first for emergency responders in Australia, as rescuers previously relied on paddled or tethered inflatable rafts to undertake rescues of people stranded in swiftwater environments.”

“QFES plays a critical role in serving and protecting the community, and the introduction of motorised swift water rescue craft is just one step towards meeting those ever-changing needs and expectations.”