Celebrating Emergency Services Day in Wedderburn on Tuesday 8 December

Published on 27 November 2015

FLASHING lights and sirens filling the main street of Wedderburn next month won’t be any cause for alarm.

The brief sound and light show will be an invitation to local school students to gather at the Wedderburn Community Centre for a day of interactive fun and learning.

The town’s second annual “Celebrating Local Emergency Services Day”, planned for Tuesday 8 December, will showcase the roles and responsibilities of these local community organisations.

Event co-ordinator Deanna Neville said the day was a follow-up to last year’s inaugural effort.

“Last time was a great success, despite our coping with a Total Fire Ban at the time!” Ms Neville said.

“Last year, we had displays, of course, and we created a round-robin children’s activity where the kids had six locations to investigate.

“That hands-on activity will run again, the CFA will have vehicles on show, Captain Koala and Paddy Platypus will be there and the students will receive a range of information to take home.

“The drive through the main street will be impressive, with the vehicles setting off about 10.30am with their lights flashing to meet the students walking down from the school.
“We want to be visual and we want to be loud.”

Ms Neville said the community centre had been a great supporter, as had Council, who’ll be an active participant on the day.

“A newcomer this time is the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, which will explain its role in firefighting operations,” she said.

“Our overall aims are to plant the idea in families’ minds that emergency services are at the hub of their community and to foster strong partnerships between those services.”
Wedderburn CERT team leader Lisa Barrass said her members had “the best time” last year.

“We had the CPR dummy out on the ground, we did demonstrations and were bandaging the kids up with slings and collars,” she said.

“We’ll do the same this time, but have also managed to get the Ambulance Victoria community education vehicle on-site with giveaways for the students.

“Days like this are great for getting the CERT team better known in the community.”
North West SES community resilience co-ordinator Jemma Nesbit-Sackville said last year’s effort focused on key messages of the organisation in ‘Floodsafe’ and ‘Stormsafe’ and explaining more about SES work.

“This time, we’re more highlighting what people can do for themselves in an emergency, in terms of home emergency kits and sound preparation,” she said.

“Days such as this certainly create links between local services and educate young people in our communities about what those services provide.”

Senior-Constable Joy Jenkins, who is stationed at Wedderburn, said the police display received a great response from the students last year.

“This time we’ll do finger-printing with the kids and, hopefully, have a highway patrol car there,” she said.

“We’ll also have mini police cars for the little ones and uniforms for dress-ups.

“The value for us in being involved is enhancing communication between the kids and ourselves – helping them to understand we’re there to look after the good people as well as chasing the bad ones.”

Shire Tourism Manager Robyn Vella said the day was “a celebration of emergency services and bringing school students in to see what they provide”.

“The event is open to anyone who would like to join in,” Mrs Vella said.

“Attenders will have the opportunity to go into a draw for a hamper of products drawn from the region.”