March 14th 2011
Magnetic Island SES news
Following is a message from the Magnetic Island State Emergency Service, Group Leader, Mr Murray Withers.
The Magnetic Island SES group would like to thank residents who required help after Cyclone Yasi for their patience. The island had all contact with the mainland severed for about 36 hours from approximately 2 am on Friday 4th February, with both landline and mobile phone communications down. When calling the SES emergency number 132500, most callers received an engaged signal giving the impression the line was busy. Those residents who managed to log a request prior to the loss of the phone services, also had to wait, as our fax line was also affected, and no tasks were able to be received.
The Island Group with a small number of trained personnel, received over 80 requests for help, with between 3 and 6 members available. The Group did a great job in the completion of these tasks working up to 10 hours a day, for almost 2 weeks. We received help from a 5 man Charters Towers/Pentland SES crew for 3 days and an 8 man Northern Territory SES crew for one day.
The SES asks all residents requiring help, not to ring SES members on their home phones. Please use the 132500 emergency line. The Group Leader got over 100 calls to his private home and mobile phones, and was unable to take most of these calls, and therefore unable to help. The Group Leader now has silent numbers on both his private and mobile phones.
There is an issue with commercial premise operators requesting sandbags for flooding and cyclone protection of businesses. SES policy states commercial operators must have their own supply of sandbags, and in future only householders will be supplied with sandbags for surge and flooding protection. We ask all businesses in surge and flood prone areas, to keep a supply of sandbags on their premises. These are available from bigger hardware stores, and you must make sure you have an adequate supply prior to each wet season.
The SES Group is urgently looking for new members, and will be holding a new member information evening, on April 18th at 7.00 pm, at our Headquarters in Kelly Street, Nelly Bay, next door to Citiwater. If you can train 2 Monday evenings a month and want to help your community, come along and see what we do, with no obligation to join.
Magnetic Island Group Leader
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