New snowmobile for Falls Creek unit
FALLS Creeks SES has recently added a new snowmobile courtesy of a Victorian Government grant.
With winter the busiest time of year for the unit, the Falls Creek volunteers recently held an open day inviting members of the community to come and hear about the role they play during alpine search rescues.
The snowmobile is a vital addition to those tasks as it provides additional capability to perform snow rescues in tough alpine areas.
It also adds to safety for members of the unit by increasing the reliability of the ageing fleet.
The vehicle was purchased through the government’s UPGRADE: Falls Creek SES has added a new snowmobile to their fleet to assist with alpine search and rescues. Volunteer Emergency Services Equipment Program (VESEP) grant of $18,098.
Falls Creek members undergo comprehensive weekly training in order to assist Victoria Police with Alpine search and rescue operations all year round.
The SES unit at Falls Creek was established in 1981 and is made up of 25 active members, three of which have served volunteers for more than 30 years.
Phil Rookes said being a member of the SES was one of the best things he has done.
“It gives me the opportunity to utilise my skills and help my local community,” he said.
“Working in harsh winter conditions are tough, but it’s something we all enjoy doing because we recognise while it’s not an easy job, it’s an important one, as we’re helping to save lives in our own backyard.”
VICSES assistant chief officer Keith O’Brien said the Falls Creek unit played a crucial role every snow season in ensuring the safety of the resort’s visitors and locals.
“Thanks to the on-going support from the Victorian Government, we’re able to train our volunteers and keep them up to date with state-ofthe-art rescue techniques to protect our community,” he said.