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Firefighters work around the clock rescuing hundreds on the coast of New South Wales

Published: 21st March 2021

Hundreds of firefighters from Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) have worked around the clock to rescue and assist residents caught up in the treacherous conditions battering the coast of NSW this weekend, providing critical assistance to the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services agencies.

In what has been a significant weather event for the state, FRNSW has mobilised over 22 trucks, 100 firefighters, and four flood water strike teams to assist with the crisis as it continues to unfold. Further firefighting strike teams have been formed up in order to provide additional assistance if required.

Since lunchtime on Friday, FRNSW flood water rescue units have performed in excess of 200 rescues, while land based rescuers have performed over 100. Firefighters have responded to calls for assistance, assisted with large scale evacuations, and responded to people stranded in rising flood waters right across the Mid North Coast. Additional crews have been flown in to assist from other areas around the state, and crews continue to work around the clock.

FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said the strike teams have the ability to respond to a wide range of emergencies, and will continue to assist the NSW SES with the ongoing situation, for as long as is required.

“Whilst the NSW SES is the combat agency for flood rescue in NSW, FRNSW provides them with support in situations of extreme weather, where there is high demand,” Commissioner Baxter said.

“With the rapid onset of extreme weather that we’ve seen on the coast of NSW this weekend, we have deployed numerous resources to the flood stricken areas to provide our assistance, and to ensure we are prepared for anything that may eventuate.”

Multiple storm and flood warnings are active across the East Coast of NSW and are expected to remain in place for the next 24-48 hours. For the latest warnings and evacuation orders, visit www.ses.nsw.gov.au

Call the NSW SES on 132 500 if you have experienced damage from storms, wind, hail or a fallen tree and if a tree branch is threatening your property or a person’s safety.

A Public Information Inquiry Centre is now open to take calls from the public about the flood affected areas in NSW. The number is 1800 227 228.
For all life-threatening emergencies, residents in the area are reminded call Triple Zero (000) in the first instance.