Christine Persello from Bowen SES, Proserpine SES group leader Sue Connors, Whitsunday SES local controller Mark Connors and Daniel Moss from Airlie Beach SES with new equipment donated through a partnership with Energy Queensland and Powerlink Queensland. Photo: Elyse Wurm
Christine Persello from Bowen SES, Proserpine SES group leader Sue Connors, Whitsunday SES local controller Mark Connors and Daniel Moss from Airlie Beach SES with new equipment donated through a partnership with Energy Queensland and Powerlink Queensland. Photo: Elyse Wurm

Hardworking rescuers gifted new equipment for emergencies

When tragedy strikes in the Whitsundays, SES crews will now have new equipment to help boost their ability to quickly help those in need.

New gear worth thousands of dollars has been delivered to the region through a partnership between the SES, Energy Queensland and Powerlink Queensland.

In the 2020-21 financial year, more than $38,000 worth of equipment was delivered to the central region through the $200,000 partnership program, with $14,669 being directly invested across the Whitsundays and Mackay.

The program helps supply equipment such as chainsaws, vehicle fridges, stretchers and defibrillators.

The tangible benefits of that money for the Whitsundays were showcased at an equipment handover to SES members in Proserpine.

A stretcher and trolley as well as a defibrillator were officially handed over to SES members during the ceremony on Thursday.

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Whitsunday SES local controller Mark Connors said the stretcher and trolley would be invaluable for rescues in the Whitsundays, particularly in areas like the Conway National Park.

"We have had some people injured on the Great Walk at Conway Park," Mr Connors said.

"To stretcher somebody out without this device would probably take 20 to 30 people over the distances we are talking about.

"This would allow one or two people to move the same distance with less effort."

With many islands in the Whitsundays with lots of remote tracks, the stretcher and trolley can also be put on a VMR vessel to help with rescues and will also fit in the back of the SES's ATV vehicle.

New equipment has been handed over to Whitsunday SES members at a ceremony in Proserpine. Pictured from left are Selina Neill, central region assistant commissioner Darryl King, Wendy Camm, Leigh Munro, Daniel Moss, Mark Connors, Christine Persello, Ergon Energy acting area manager Damian Pennisi, Barry Lake, Sue Connors, Dick Filewood, Douglas Connors and Chris Harvey. Photo: Elyse Wurm
New equipment has been handed over to Whitsunday SES members at a ceremony in Proserpine. Pictured from left are Selina Neill, central region assistant commissioner Darryl King, Wendy Camm, Leigh Munro, Daniel Moss, Mark Connors, Christine Persello, Ergon Energy acting area manager Damian Pennisi, Barry Lake, Sue Connors, Dick Filewood, Douglas Connors and Chris Harvey. Photo: Elyse Wurm

Mr Connors said it would boost the safety of the patient as well as SES operators.

"Importantly, we can get them out quicker," Mr Connors said.

Mr Connors said he was very appreciative of the donation and support as it was an expensive piece of equipment.

Energy Queensland CEO Rod Duke said Ergon and Energex were long-time supporters of the SES.

"When natural disasters strike Queensland there are two absolute guarantees," he said.

"There is always the unfortunate damage to property and disruption to lives but, on the positive side, there is a sea of invaluable volunteers in orange overalls working hard helping the community back on its feet.

Christine Persello from Bowen SES and Whitsunday SES local controller Mark Connors accept a new defibrillator from Ergon Energy acting area manager Damian Pennisi. Photo: Elyse Wurm
Christine Persello from Bowen SES and Whitsunday SES local controller Mark Connors accept a new defibrillator from Ergon Energy acting area manager Damian Pennisi. Photo: Elyse Wurm

"These members of the SES not only help make lives in the community better during and after emergencies, they also provide significant support to Energex and Ergon crews out there getting power back on.

"For their tireless assistance for our crews and the wider community we are proud to continue our decade-long support of the amazing work they do."