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Surf Life Saving NSW responds to bushfire crisis

Surf Life Saving NSW responds to bushfire crisis
January 4, 2020

Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) are responding to and supporting communities impacted and traumatised by this bushfire crisis.

George Shales, President SLSNSW advises “operationally we have utilised all our Surf Life Saving Clubs as evacuation centres, our lifesavers have become first aiders, comforters, friends and companions of strangers in need."

SLSNSW are deploying a taskforce of lifesavers equipped with IRBs, jet skis and first aid equipment to standby for potential water response and evacuations in the Shoalhaven and South Coast.

Shales added that “we are no longer revered as 'just lifesavers', we are now lifesavers who are also emergency responders, capable of doing what is needed in these times of crisis. Stories continue to emerge of amazing actions conducted by our lifesavers. It is indeed truly humbling to hear these and know the commitment we all have for our communities, friends and colleagues.

“We understand many clubs are now rallying to raise funds, collect clothing and food and water to transport down to these affected areas.

“These are truly magnanimous and gracious gestures. We need however to be cognisant that for the next week at least, it will be almost impossible to transport these goods down to the affected regions."

SLSNSW have sent resupplies of oxygen, generators and first aid equipment to their clubs isolated in these regions.

Shales noted that SLSNSW will be announcing next week how their organisation will assist with resupply of goods and equipment to impacted communities over the next few weeks and considered that “it will be more powerful and have a greater impact if we coordinate this centrally. This will also allow the emergency services and communities appropriate time to regroup and commence recovery after this terrible event.”

SLSNSW advise that for those wishing to donate funds to those affected communities, or families of firefighters that have lost their lives in this emergency, to refer to the NSW Rural Fire Service website

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