SES members skill up with chainsaw weekend as storms continue

Tenterfield NSW SES member Allison McGarry successfully completed her Chainsaw Operators qualification on the weekend.

Tenterfield NSW SES member Allison McGarry successfully completed her Chainsaw Operators qualification on the weekend.

Tenterfield SES (State Emergency Service) volunteers jointed their counterparts from other areas in Warialda over the weekend of April 14/15 to undertake training in chainsaw operations.

With storms still coming over the district the weekend provided a great opportunity  for SES members to gain new skills to support their local communities.

The nationally-recognised qualification all attendees gained will add a cross cut and limbing capability to their units, so should trees fall or lean on buildings these members will be able to make homes safe again.

The aim of the weekend was to skill people who have never used a chainsaw before by showing them how to not only use a chainsaw but how to maintain, clean, sharpen, refuel and operate safely.

Training included use of all the protective clothing and equipment and then using the chainsaw in a remote humid location.

Tenterfield Unit Controller Richard Dennison said the weekend was about ensuring volunteers are ready for any emergency that may arise.

“Training like this is so important.

“They give our NSW SES members the opportunity to learn new skills while also ensuring they are at the right level to be carrying out chainsaw operations.”

Over the two days, volunteers were tested through a series of scenarios. Some of the scenarios were designed at ensuring members had total control of their saw by getting them to cut ‘letter boxes’ and ‘biscuits’.

Region Learning and Development Officer Wes Macpherson said “t was great to see so many volunteers participating in the training.

“Our NSW SES volunteers already give so much time to their communities, it’s just great to see them all here, smiling and ready for a challenge,” he said.

Twelve volunteers participated from across the North West Region from various units including Moree, Warialda, Tenterfield and Ashford.

Mr Dennison is keen to welcome more volunteers to the Tenterfield unit. Anyone seeking more information can contact the NSW SES by calling the Volunteer Information Line on 1800 201 000.

Anyone requiring emergency assistance in floods and storms call the NSW SES on 132 500.

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