Nymboida gets nod for emergency services training
GRAFTON has emerged as a viable venue for the staging of major emergency services training programs after the success of a recent course.
A swiftwater rescue training and qualification course was held on the Nymboida River last month and instructor Philip Benfield said the Nymboida Canoe Centre had provided the ideal location, allowing for personnel for multiple agencies to take part.
"This multi-agency approach to training is a massive advantage to emergency services as we are able to link up to complete major swiftwater rescue operations," he said.
Mr Benfield said that in the past, emergency services across NSW had only been able to go to Penrith White Water Stadium to undertake the training and assessment needed for swiftwater rescue courses.
To further enhance the region's appeal as a training venue, Mr Benfield recently qualified as an instructor with Rescue 3 International which provides swiftwater rescue training in more than 130 countries
"There are only a few of these instructors around Australia so having one local in Grafton is a major advantage to members of the emergency services," the Grafton Volunteer Rescue Association member said.
Mr Benfield staged two courses last month. The first catered for Operations First Responder and the second was a Technician course.
Technicians are those who perform the high-risk task of entering the water to effect a rescue.
"On the technician course held over the last weekend of April, 13 people attended," Mr Benfield said.
"Participants included members of the VRA and NSW Police Rescue and Bomb Disposal, Sydney."
Mr Benfield said the Nymboida Canoe Centre's facilities and watercourse had ideally suited their training needs.
Mr Benfield plans to hold a free swiftwater and flood presentation for members of the community.
The two- or three-day courses are staged on natural rivers in the Clarence Valley area.
"Once you see the dangers of swiftwater, after attending a course, I bet you will not even consider going into a swollen creek," he said.
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