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New training tower takes Port Stephen’s SES to new heights

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Port Stephens State Emergency Service have opened a new safety training tower in memory of their late friend and former volunteer Geoff Edwards, who tragically lost his life following a fall in 2018. 

Geoff’s Training Tower, which has been made possible through a $21,000 grant from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, will ensure local SES volunteers are adequately trained to respond to emergency flood and storm events in the Hunter. 

Port Stephens SES Local Commander, Philip Hudson, said the training tower was a much needed addition to the Raymond Terrace training facility as local volunteer numbers continue to grow. 

“Our Port Stephens team is made up of 60 dedicated volunteers and the safety of each and every one of these individuals is paramount,” Philip said  

“Previously our volunteers who work at-heights have been required to travel to Newcastle to receive compulsory training. This new facility at Raymond Terrace ensures these volunteers have access to the facilities needed for their compulsory training and it also encourages ongoing development and skill building which is equally as important. 

“We’re so grateful to Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation for supporting this initiative and having the opportunity to honour a great friend and former colleague who was dedicated to serving his community.” 

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chair, Phil Neat, said the Charitable Foundation was proud to support this important project and an organisation that gives so much to the local community. 

“NSW SES plays such a vital role in our community and we’re delighted to fund this project which will help to ensure the safety of our SES volunteers as they continue to prepare for and respond to emergencies. 

“We thank each and every one of our local volunteers for their ongoing commitment, dedication and sacrifice and hope this facility will help them for years to come.” 

The new Port Stephens at-heights training tower is 6x4 metres and will feature two storeys with a combination of tiled and iron roofing. This will enable volunteers to practice a number of drills including working at heights, walking on different roofing structures, self-rescues, propping fallen beams, removing tiles and much more.

Port Stephen’s SES personnel and volunteers with Newcastle Permanent staff at the official opening of Geoff’s Training Tower.

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