Acting Maclean SES controller Mark Duckworth.
Acting Maclean SES controller Mark Duckworth.

New Maclean boat ramp proves its worth to SES

THERE will be no more slippery surfaces for Maclean State Emergency Services, thanks to the construction of a new boat ramp that allows access directly from the group's headquarters to the water.

The new ramp proved invaluable in the recent floods, where SES volunteers performed duties from collecting prescriptions and supplying the local SPAR to taking out medivacs to people injured in the floodwaters.

"Before we used to have to take the boat a distance down to the Mclean launching pad. We have a quicker response time as we're launching from our shed straight into the water," acting controller Mark Duckworth said.

As well as providing better security for the SES boats, the ramp allows the ambulance to come right up to the water's edge where the flood boats unload.

"It's so much more settling for the people because the vessel is so much more stable and the people are so much easier to handle having a clear platform to work with. In our old one it was a bit slippery so this is safer... You take both sides of the metal, lift the people out and load them into the ambulance stretcher and straight into the ambulance - it made it so much easier," he said.

The new boat ramp began as the pet project of former controller, Ron Johnson, and was funded by a $60,000 SES government grant. Mr Johnson unfortunately passed away before he could see his project actualised.

"It was what he wanted realised. He did a lot of the leg work," Mr Duckworth said.

"He was such a dedicated person to the job. He liked flood boat work. He'd take on something and not let go of it."



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