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Mock disasters used to enhance SES skills at training weekend

June 11, 2023

Participants being put through their paces. Photo: Supplied.

By Peter Holmes

Last weekend the SES Orange City Unit hosted a Leadership and Incident Control training course, with 19 participants travelling from places including Coonamble, Camden Haven, Portland, Warren and Oberon.

Under the guidance of trainers and assessors, the volunteers were taken through scenarios, workshops and group activities designed to develop their skills, test their decision making processes and build their confidence to lead teams in the field.

"In the room was over 100 years of combined NSW SES experience and through discussions and group activities this experience was shared to enhance the knowledge of all present," the SES said.

"Across four different stands the teams were tasked with rotating the 'Team Leader' role and working together to get a situation brief before attempting to find a strategy to solve the problem or situation they had encountered.

Strategising. Photo: Supplied.

In one example the teams were instructed to use sections of timber and rope as tandem skis to traverse a fictitious "dangerous mountain pass" and get to safety.

"With two members on each set of skis communication and coordination became critical to their success," the SES said.

The teams were also asked to prepare briefings and an Incident Action Plan (IAP) for their team as part of a mock storm scenario.

At the conclusion of the course 19 participants successfully passed their assessment and gained their Incident Controller qualification.

The SES described this as a "significant uplift in the skills of these members and the units they represent.

Orange City Unit particularly benefited through nine members gaining their Incident Controller qualification. This will strengthen our ability to respond in the event of emergency situations and assist the community".

Inspector Robert Stevens (Unit Commander, Orange City Unit) said: "We're incredibly proud of the achievement of our members and their commitment and dedication to improving their skills through the completion of this course."

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