Dom Trifilo of the Country Fire Authority Werribee is one of five emergency services team members selected for an interim helicopter traffic accident rescue team created to respond to flood-related incidents in isolated communities.
Made up of CFA, VICSES and Shepparton Search and Rescue, the team will be based at Mangalore Airfield for the duration of the upcoming flood.
It is hoped that the Joint Rescue Service will improve the emergency services response and complement ground crews.
Tim Wiebusch, chief operating officer of VICSES, said the service relies on local SES and CFA members with road accident rescue skills and qualifications.
“A five-member multi-agency team will rotate between shifts and respond to locations across the state where roads may have been cut and communities isolated,” he said.
“These members are highly skilled and trained to the same standard, and they will be ready to respond quickly to flood-affected communities that need their services for as long as these conditions last.
“Crews will be equipped with the most efficient, agile and lightweight battery-operated rescue equipment to allow for increased capability.”
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said the arrangement is another example of Victoria’s voluntary emergency service organizations working together and putting the community at the center of their work.
“There are many communities across Victoria that are difficult to access on the ground at the moment, and the Air Traffic Accident Rescue Team has the equipment to fly over the water and assist to incidents on its own or provide support to our ground teams if required. said Mr. Heffernan.
“In many ways, this is a groundbreaking effort by our teams to adapt in an emergency and provide continued service to our communities.”