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SAES teams serving at numerous fire fronts

SAES teams serving at numerous fire fronts

SAES teams serving at numerous fire fronts

9 September 2019

Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) teams have been on hand at Stanthorpe in southern Queensland since last Friday, where fires were burning out of control.

By Lauren Martin

The Salvation Army is supporting firefighters and affected residents at the scene of major bushfires still burning out of control in New South Wales and Queensland.

Woolworths and The Salvation Army are working together at various fire fronts through the S.T.A.N.D partnership (Support Through Australian Natural Disasters). 

“This is not a pre-cursor to the fire season ...this is the fire season,” said Norm Archer, The Salvation Army Strategic Emergency and Disaster Management Coordinator for NSW/ACT.

NSW fires

In northern NSW, Tenterfield Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) teams have been working hard since last week, catering for Rural Fire Service volunteers and people presenting at the evacuation centre.

Teams from Coffs Harbour were at Dorrigo Showground community hall all weekend, feeding firefighters and evacuees (pictured right).

In southern NSW, SAES teams from Bega assisted at an evacuation centre that was set up at Bermagui Surf Life Saving Club. (It has since been closed.)

Local Woolworths stores have been helping the Salvos with supplies, equipping SEAS teams enough food and water to hand out at distribution points.

Queensland fires

In Queensland, SAES teams from Warwick/Southern Downs, Fassifern, Toowoomba and even volunteers from Brisbane have been working hard to support Queensland Fire and Emergency Services teams at the fire-staging area.

Adam Cole, The Salvation Army Strategic Emergency and Disaster Management Coordinator for Queensland, said hundreds of meals had been served every day since last Friday.

“We’ve been working hard, the guys are doing the best we can to ensure that the firefighters are supported and fed and just having that physical support there,” he said.

“It is very, very, early for this to be happening. The reality is, the drought is exacerbating the situation. We are seeing fires that I’ve not seen before, so it’s very, very concerning for the season.”

Salvationists are being asked to pray for the winds to ease and for rain to help rejuvenate drought-affected Australia so that the risk of devastating bushfires will be reduced.

Community events

In the midst of the emergency response work, teams in Sydney were busy attending community events over the weekend, with a truck and team attending Shire Salvos’ Big 50 fundraising walk and another team serving 1000 sausages at a State Emergency Services event.

“I am humbled and blown away by the willingness of our volunteers to step up both in times of crisis and also supporting community events as best they can,” said Norm.

 

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