SES sharpen cave rescue skills in ‘Wellington Wombats’ return

The annual ‘Wellington Wombats’ cave rescue training program has returned after a two-year hiatus, with more than 150 New South Wales State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers descending on the Wellington Caves last weekend.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders visited SES volunteers as they practiced carrying out tricky rescues in complex cave systems.

“It is crucially important our volunteer emergency service personnel are able to train and test themselves in real-world environments to ensure they have the appropriate skills,” Mr Saunders said.

“Training events like this show how dedicated SES volunteers are to making sure they are able to provide lifesaving rescue capability to their communities.”

SES Commissioner Carlene York said it was an important initiative to improve the capability of our members.

“Wellington Wombats is about building rescue skills of our volunteers across all types of rescue situations,” Commissioner York said.

“It will test our volunteers and ensure they are able to learn correct rescue procedures in vastly different conditions to those they may be used to in the caves.”

Wellington Unit Commander Chief Inspector Michael Cubillo said they were looking forward to hosting the event which has been held annually since 1994.

“Now the weekend is happening, there’s lots of excitement, and it’s great to get volunteers from across the state back together,” Chief Inspector Cubillo said.

“It is a great team building event as well as training opportunity.”

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