Clarification on Facebook rescue story - South Lismore
Published: 28 Feb 2022 10:12am
A mother trapped with her two young sons in their home at South Lismore during the north coast flood emergency today has used the internet to raise the alarm with Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) through an overseas friend.
The woman, and her boys, one of them aged three, were seeking refuge from the rising floodwaters around 10am when they realised it was too dangerous to get on the slippery roof of their Edward Street home and wait for help.
With no mobile signal and losing hope, the woman used internet access on her phone to send a distress message to a family friend in New Zealand, as they considered sheltering in the roof cavity of the home.
The friend then randomly sought help via Sydney's Narellan Fire Station Facebook page, writing a message: "Please small child in house TRAPPED GET HELP OUT THERE NOW PLEASE."
An off-duty FRNSW firefighter, returning home after a north coast holiday with her own family, received the "Messenger" alert on her phone as they were travelling.
A former fire station social media administrator, the Qualified Firefighter responded to the man's message and rang Triple Zero (000), providing the trapped family's details.
In the meantime, another friend managed to reach the family and guide them to safety.
The family contact in New Zealand received news of the rescue and sent a follow-up message to the firefighter, "Daughter just made contact...they got them out...Thank you so much, guys/girls...God bless you".
FRNSW Act. Superintendent, Mathew Sigmund, said whilst there was a fortunate outcome to this emergency, it is crucial that the public realises that Fire and Rescue NSW Facebook pages are not routinely monitored and should not be relied upon as an alternative to Triple Zero (000).
Updated: 25 Oct 2022 12:46pm
Details about this incident may change and should not be used as emergency information and/or advice.
For all life threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000)
For flood information, warnings or requests for non-life threatening assistance, call the SES on 132 500 or visit the NSW State Emergency Service website here. [external link].
For information directly relating to bushfires please call the Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737 or visit the NSW Rural Fire Service Website here. [external link]