Kalbarri SES October 2017 report:
Operations attended in September 2017:
Casualty Evacuation at Four Ways Gorge, Kalbarri National Park:
At 4.00 pm on Tuesday August 29, Kalbarri SES was mobilised following a call from Kalbarri Parks and Wildlife Service (PAWS). A local school group had been camping at Four Ways Gorge when a female student had become unwell after a suspected asthma attack and required urgent medical assistance and evacuation. The location of the casualty was in difficult terrain several kilometres walk from the nearest vehicle access. 8 Local SES volunteers responded with 6 attending the Gorge while 2 remained at SES base to provide communications and support. Also in attendance were St Johns Ambulance and Parks and Wildlife Service officers.
First aid and recovery equipment was carried to the incident location over several kilometres of steep rocky ground to where the casualty was located in a unwell state. A medical assessment was conducted by SJA staff while the casualty was provided with oxygen and secured in a Stokes Litter (rigid rescue stretcher) by SES volunteers for evacuation. Evacuation involved a long hard walk along the gorge involving moving the litter around inaccessible rocky outcrops and across muddy areas to the main access track. The litter was then manhandled up the steep rocky access track to the waiting 4WD ambulance.
This activity was demanding on all involved with SES volunteers, Parks and Wildlife Service personnel and school staff all assisting. The exercise was completed just in time to transfer the casualty into the ambulance before darkness fell. She was conveyed to Kalbarri Health Centre for treatment.
This incident again highlighted the working relationships between local agencies in emergency situations and was a credit to all those involved.
Search for missing walkers at The Loop, Kalbarri National Park:
On the late afternoon of Wednesday September 6th, Kalbarri SES was mobilised following a call from Police after 2 persons left the carpark at The Loop in Kalbarri National Park for a walk and failed to return. Grave concerns were held for their welfare as the weather conditions were wet and stormy and they were unprepared to spend a prolonged time in the bush. The area also has many hazards such as steep cliffs, rock falls and overhangs.
Kalbarri SES volunteers responded with 7 attending the scene and 2 remaining at the SES base to provide communications and support. Also at the scene were Police, and Parks and Wildlife Service officers. SES volunteers assisted with setting up communications between services at the scene and Regional Operations Centre in Geraldton from where the operation was coordinated.
A search was commenced by SES and PAWS of all the tracks and likely places of resort in the area and this continued into the night when it was decided to call a halt due to the poor conditions. SES volunteers finishing at midnight. SES volunteers were back on the scene first thing in the morning to continue the search and a decision was made the carry 2 kayaks down into the gorge to enable SES volunteers to check the gorge and cliffs along the river for any sign of the missing walkers.
As the kayakers were about to launch, they observed 2 persons on a ridge at the top of the gorge and directed other SES volunteers to the location where the missing walkers were located cold, tired and hungry after becoming lost and disorientated and sheltering in bush overnight, but otherwise well.
Evacuation of injured casualty at Z Bend, Kalbarri National Park:
At 1.30 pm on Tuesday September 26th, Kalbarri SES unit was mobilised to attend the Z Bend walk trail in Kalbarri National Park. A female tourist walking the trail had fallen and broken her leg about 700 meters from the nearest vehicle access. 11 volunteers responded with 9 attending the scene while 2 remained at SES base to provide communications and support. St John Ambulance attended the scene and stabilised the casualty and provided pain relief. SES volunteers moved the casualty into a Stokes Litter and secured her. The litter was manhandled over rough terrain to a better track where the litter was placed onto a mule, a one wheeled frame, that was subsequently wheeled to the waiting ambulance to which she was transferred and conveyed to Kalbarri Health Centre for treatment. Again SES volunteers worked in partnership with St John Ambulance and Parks and Wildlife Service officers to complete a successful operation.
District Police Superintendents Commendation:
On September 23rd, Inspector Brad BIRD from Midwest/Gascoyne Police District Office, attended the local emergency services meeting in Kalbarri where he presented Kalbarri SES with a commendation from Superintendent BELL recognising the efforts of Kalbarri SES volunteers in land searches at Ella Valla Station, Carnarvon on July 18th & 19th and at The Loop, Kalbarri National Park on September 6th & 7th.
Kalbarri SES volunteers have attended the following training courses over the last month:
Work in an Emergency Operations Centre
2 SES volunteers from Kalbarri attended a course at Regional Headquarters in Geraldton to learn how to cary out the important roles conducted out in an Emergency Operations Centre. This includes communications, coordinating resources and documenting the operation.
Sector Commander Course
2 SES volunteers from Kalbarri attended a course at Regional Headquarters in Geraldton to qualify as Sector Commanders. These members are now able to manage response teams, logistics and resources at incidents.
On Sunday September 24th Kalbarri SES volunteers followed up on recent chainsaw training by completing several chainsaw jobs around Kalbarri. Chainsaw skills and safety are important as it is a core function of SES units to attend to storm damage with often involves removing downed trees and branches that are a danger to persons or property.
Local Manager Steve Cable recives commendationd from Inspector Brad BIRD from Midwest/Gascoyne Police District Office
Evacuation of injured casualty at Z Bend, Kalbarri National Park