SES Ballarat – Operation Rescue Riders
Your donations at work (mid year 2015)
“One weekend in May, approximately 30 Ballarat SES members (including the 5 motorbike crew) were involved in a search training scenario held in Creswick State Forrest. The scenario was based on 2 missing children – with a general search area defined (approx. 2 square kilometres).
The motorbikes were dispatched at the commencement of the training, and were able to cover the tracks within the search area in less than 20 minutes. In comparison, doing this on foot would have taken at least 1.5 hrs. The motorbike crew were able to locate one missing child which then made the search for the other missing child much quicker for the foot crews. By using the motorbikes, the whole scenario was completed (both children found) in just over an hour. Again – doing the entire search by foot may have taken up to 3 hours to complete.”
The State Emergency Service (SES) Ballarat Unit is made up of approximately 80 local volunteers and is the control agency for flood, storm, tsunami and earthquake disasters. Volunteers come from all walks of life, with many different backgrounds, but all share in one common goal – to make the Ballarat community safer during natural disasters. The Ballarat SES Unit work with the community to build preparedness and resilience, as well as delivering timely and effective response to natural hazards.
One important role the SES volunteers have is to assist Police in cases of missing persons where a ground search is needed. SES Volunteers undertake specific training in effective search techniques, and are regularly called on to assist the Police by providing trained manpower to conduct the search.
Searching for a missing person is often time critical. The person may be injured, without food or water or require urgent medication. There is high potential for possible death if the person is not located as quickly as possible.
Quite often the search is through dense bushland. Searching on foot can be considerably slow, this causes two problems – The risk to the missing person increases and SES volunteers are exhausted quicker and need to be interchanged with fresh members more often. The use of motorbikes greatly aids in bush searches and helps to reduce these two problems.
8 Ballarat SES volunteers have now been trained and form the Motorbike Response Crew. These members will have at least 4 years SES experience, and have already received SES Land Search training. The Crew make use of two new motorbikes and a purpose built trailer to aid in immediate response to a search and rescue situation.
This organisation has received funding from United Way Ballarat in the following years: