A $25m upgrade for the NSW SES flood rescue fleet

Tuesday, 14 November, 2023

A $25m upgrade for the NSW SES flood rescue fleet

Following record flooding in NSW last year, which impacted several communities across the state and resulted in more than 80,000 calls to the State Emergency Service (SES), the state government has announced a $25 million upgrade to the SES’s flood rescue fleet.

More than $14.7 million will go towards 142 additional boats, rafts, trucks, cars and trailers in response to recommendations from the independent flood inquiry. Findings from the inquiry highlighted the need for SES volunteers to have upgraded equipment and resources to meet the growing challenges posed by extreme weather events.

All new vehicles are being equipped with vehicle-as-a-node technology, allowing crews to communicate using 4G and satellite networks in addition to regular radio networks. This helps ensure crews can stay connected during emergencies and overcome any dangerous communications blackspots.

A further $10.9 million under the NSW Government’s Fleet Replacement Program will fund more than 50 new vessels, storm and rescue vehicles, command vehicles and trailers to replace existing assets for SES units across NSW.

Parts of the state most at risk of flooding are being prioritised during these rollouts, with delivery of the assets set to be completed by the end of this financial year. SES units in the Northern Rivers, Central West and Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley have already received equipment, delivering on recommendations from the independent flood inquiry to improve disaster response capabilities.

“This investment will further equip our volunteers to respond to flooding and other emergencies,” said NSW Premier Chris Minns.

“These new boats and vehicles will help save lives and minimise the impact of disasters on communities.”

Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib added, “This funding recognises the valuable contribution SES volunteers make to the state, particularly when they are on the frontline during floods and storms.

“These resources will enhance our response capabilities across the state and will particularly benefit flood-impacted communities in the Central West and the Northern Rivers.”

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York concluded, “These new assets ensure we can provide swift and effective assistance to those who need it most during times of crisis.

“The additional vessels and equipment will help volunteers save lives and respond to floods as well as many other incidents such as road crashes and land rescues, searches and other emergencies.”

Image credit: iStock.com/lovleah

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