Our unit, along with Cockburn, Canning / South Perth and Bassendean, run a river ambulance service in conjunction with St Johns.
The need for this service arose when a road ambulance could not get through traffic with a critical patient on board from the south side of the river.
We were used three times this year, with the last just as the fireworks were starting, so we had a really good view as we headed towards the flag pole on the north side of the river.
We were called by one of our own to assist with a tree that had fallen across his driveway, preventing him from getting his car out. I must admit that this is the first time that I have attended a member’s house and I think the “carton rules” apply…
Quite a large white gum – about 15m high and a trunk of about 800mm diameter. The tree appeared to have some rot and ant activity.
It ended up taking about 2 hours to finish the job with 4 chainsaw operators using 3 saws.
Photos courtesy of Terri Dufty.
Saturday the Flood Rescue Trained members headed out on the water for some continuaton training, to ensure their skills are being maintained. Joined by three Canning/South Perth members, we headed for Pullman Park, Upper Swan. We have never used this area for training before, but the instructors believed it was a different area to get us out of our comfort zone.
Engaging 4wd the training commenced with a steep decline down to a muddy area. We refreshed our memories with terminology before mixing our General Rescue and Flood Rescue techniques to launch the boats (below photo)
With the boats launched, we set off for some practice manoeuvring in moving water in our smaller boats.
We got to play in Cannings Boat aswell, and have a bit of fun in the beautiful sun.
Overall it was a good day 🙂
On the 7th June, the Metropolitan Area faced an abnormal weather event, with destructive winds in excess of 120km/hr tearing a path of destruction through residential areas.
Residents have described the terror of a destructive tornado which ripped through Dianella and Morley, flattening powerlines and leaving a trail of damage. 5 Houses were deemed uninhabitable. By 8pm that night the State Emergency Services had received over 80 Requests for Assistance, with more coming in. From there the weather didn’t get any better, which saw several busy days for us, cleaning up the remnants of that original Thursday storm, another on Sunday afternoon and again on the Tuesday.
This abnormal weather has caused alot of damage and required the assistance of several resources.
The statistics are:
- Over 1400 Requests for Assistance
- Over 350 personnel involved
- At least 7 different volunteer services – SES, Bushfire, Fire and Rescue, Marine Rescue, Salvation Army, St Johns, Emergency Services
- 2 Career groups from FESA – Career Fire and Rescue and Urban Search and Rescue Taskforce (USAR)
- 25 SES volunteers flown over from South Australia
- Assistance received from the Army and Navy through DACC (Defence Assistance to the Civil Community)
- Activation of WANDRRA – WA Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements – see link for info (http://www.fesa.wa.gov.au/stateemergencymanagement/grantsandrecovery/wandrra/Pages/default.aspx)
- Other Services in attendance such as Police and Western Power
Belmont SES alone had several teams assisting from Dianella to Mandurah over the last week since the storm occurred. Belmont SES initially sent 1 team out the Thursday afternoon, with a secondary team following them later that afternoon. The first job we attended was on Valentine st, at which point the destruction was clearly evident. Team Leader Suzi Hayward states “We started at the corner and worked our way down the street, cleaning up as we went.”
Even the next day when teams were sent out to the same area it looked like a war zone with powerlines torn down, metal sheeting snagged in the lines, trees down and dozens of homes damaged. At least on house has extensive roof damage, as a steel beam fell through the roof causing considerable structural damage to the property.
This damage was seen again when teams were deployed to Rockingham to assist down there, with some huge trees pulling their roots causing structural damage to houses, or posing a risk to nearby properties.
Overall it was a large effort from of all of us to assist the other areas, whilst still maintaining a watch and completing jobs as received in our area.
FESA CEO Wayne Gregson thanked all emergency services personnel with a formal circular released acknowledging the hard work and efforts put in.
Above: Belmont SES Crews at work – source PerthNow
Below: Same house as above from skyview
Today we had a call out to help a resident with a tree that had fallen on her house. The tree was very dead and had been limbed back to the main trunk. Today was the day for it to fall over…Gallery is empty! continue reading
Two volunteers from the Belmont SES have been deployed up North to drive 4wds. A fire North-east of Carnarvon has been burning since the 27th December, and has currently burnt through almost 500,000 hectares.
Thursday saw one of our volunteers Damian Allard deployed, and today Kyle Ellice was also deployed. Both leave their jobs and family behind for 7 days to assist those fighting the fires, working in extreme heat and exhaustion.
Both will be working to deliver food and water to the hungry firefighters on the frontline, which could involve quite some travel with a fire perimeter close to 800kms.
Have a look at the map below courtesy of DEC.
The boys have also been joined by 6 other SES volunteers from across the Metro Area.
Good luck to all the responders up there!continue reading
After students completed the mandatory prerequisite of a swim test, it was time for the training to begin.
Saturday and Sunday saw the floodies under assessment conduct flood rescue theory and land based practicals. This included reliving their childhood, using bathtime boats to practice the rules of the water.
Once this was mastered the crews set out for Guildford on Monday. The beautiful weather helped add to a successful day!
But the weather wasn’t as good on Tuesday when we had to recover the vessels early after a storm front started to move in on us out on Melville waters. An early finish, which meant the assessments were incomplete. But an excuse to take the boats back out on the water another…… warmer day!
Belmont SES holds a major role in the metro area for flood rescue, with 2 flood boats. ‘Citybel’, for City of Belmont which is a large unsinkable pontoon boat and ‘Tinkabel’, smaller then the other but same style vessel.
4 people nominated for the upcoming course and tonight was the ultimate test with all having to complete a mandatory swim test.
All our members not only completed the required swim, but doubled the distance just to prove Belmont does what it takes and goes the extra mile!
Congrats to all and good luck on the course.continue reading
Training was cancelled on Monday night for a missing person in Coolbellup. 20 Search Team Members, 3 Search Team Leaders a Field Search Controller and a Comms Tech all responded to the search.
The 83-year-old Coolbellup man who went missing was found safe and well by a local shop owner.
Police said the shop owner had recognised the missing man from the posters officers had distributed earlier in the evening.
Job well done by all our volunteers who searched into the morning.continue reading
On Monday, 26th of September, the unit received a call for assistance to a leaking roof. Upon arrival of the recce team a few hours later, the source of the leak could not be found. In the end, it was decided to use some black plastic over the affected area to try and prevent further damage during the coming front.continue reading