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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
    The Honourable Craig Crawford

    QFES swiftwater rescue fleet bolstered by six new motorised craft

    Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
    The Honourable Craig Crawford

    Friday, July 20, 2018

    QFES swiftwater rescue fleet bolstered by six new motorised craft

    Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) rescue capabilities have been bolstered by the arrival of six new Motorised Swiftwater Rescue Craft (MSRC), Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said today (Friday).

    Mr Crawford was speaking after four days of training this week wrapped-up on the Tully River, meaning 66 specialist MSRC personnel could now be deployed statewide.

    “Queenslanders can be confident our well-trained crews are well-equipped with first-class equipment to respond to swiftwater rescue incidents,” Mr Crawford said.

    “Now this final phase of training on the Tully River is complete, the six new MSRC – each worth about $27,000 – will be distributed around the state.

    “They are on top of the 11 introduced into service last year, bringing QFES’ fleet total to 17 under a $500,000 Palaszczuk Government commitment.

    “These new additions mean each region will have two motorised craft, with the State Deployment Centre housing an additional three for training and deployment.”

    Mr Crawford said the MSRC – an Australian-first for swiftwater rescue capabilities – were specifically designed to allow rescues to be undertaken in dangerous river and swiftwater conditions.

    He said the effectiveness of the new motorised craft was demonstrated four months ago, when two people were rescued from floodwaters in Cairns during Cyclone Nora.

    “I’ve been highlighting the skills of our QFES crews, and the capabilities of these motorised craft for some time, and ironically the first actual rescue in Queensland using a MSRC took place in my electorate of Barron River,” Mr Crawford said.

    “Without this new technology and capability, the outcome of the rescue in March may not have been as positive.

    “These new craft provide rescue crews faster access to stranded people – in situations where distance, and speed of the water makes a paddled rescue impossible.

    “The new craft are fitted with a 30HP Evinrude outboard motor, hi-torque propeller and propeller guard, and can be inflated within a matter of minutes.”

    QFES Acting Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Response and Planning Brad Commens said the four days of specialist training for MSRC crews on the Tully River, which finished today, allowed trainees to hone their skills and experience real-life training scenarios.

    “As no prior training was available in Australia for the motorised craft, overseas providers were used in the development of a course and delivery of instructor training,” Mr Commens said.

    “The training is a nine-day course, split into two phases - the first at Caloundra consisted of theory-based learning, boat handling and working in a tidal environment.

    “The motorised craft will be a valuable tool for trained swiftwater rescue operators across the state in safeguarding our communities,” he said.


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