FRNSW Aboriginal Community Liaison officers offer helping hand to flood-impacted communities - Central NSW
Published: 06 Dec 2022 02:08pm
Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Aboriginal Community Liaison officers have delivered critical support to indigenous communities impacted by the devastating floodwaters in the state’s central west.
Two teams of indigenous firefighters were recently deployed from Sydney to the worst-hit towns of Condobolin, Eugowra, Forbes and Parkes, also travelling to outlying missions.
They engaged with local Aboriginal land councils, community elders and residents, linking them with emergency teams and frontline support services during the NSW State Emergency Service-led operation.
The liaison officers regularly attended briefings and meetings, and quickly shared information within their network, in a culturally appropriate way, during response and recovery efforts.
Their important work also included pumping water out of inundated homes and businesses, washing away mud and debris, delivering drinking water and food to affected residents, installing smoke alarms within makeshift accommodation for those displaced, and connecting locals with mental health support services.
The teams also met with political leaders, changed an elder’s flat tyre, helped pull off celebrations for a resident’s 82nd birthday, and handed kids FRNSW activity packs and fire hats.
FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said the work of the Aboriginal Community Liaison personnel boosted morale everywhere they went and reinforced local confidence in emergency services.
“The impacts of extreme weather events can be frightening and overwhelming for our communities,” said Commissioner Baxter.
“Acknowledging the individual needs of community and working together, especially with our local First Nations people, has helped ensure those affected by this flood event have access to support and everyone feels appropriately supported in their recovery.”
EDITORS NOTE: Additional photos of the liaison officers' deployment are available via the FRNSW website.
Updated: 27 Jan 2023 05:16pm
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]