Safety first at the NSW State Road and Crash Rescue Symposium

SES Symposium staff and Seerena

Last week, the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) and Fire And Rescue (FRNSW), held the 2023 NSW State Road Crash Rescue Symposium at Coffs International Stadium.

Safety is a priority at Busways, including training, so a Busways bus was loaned to assist emergency services teams in the Heavy Vehicle Stabilisation and Relocation segment of the day. 

This section of the symposium saw rescue crews gain first-hand training on how to shut down a bus that had been involved in a bus incident.

James  Boland from State Rescue Challenge highlighted the importance of an effective emergency response to a bus incident, as many vulnerable people catch buses, such as elderly citizens and school children.

“The complexity and difficulty of successfully navigating a bus emergency response is higher and can be more stressful than navigating an incident involving a car,” says James. 

“The ability to use a Busways bus for a real-life demonstration gave our on-road rescuers exposure to situations they may face in real life. The rescuers got training to see all the functions of a bus, how it works, the substructure of the bus and the techniques they can employ. It gives our crews practical training which leads to better outcomes for the community.”

Over 150 people from SES, FRNSW and the Volunteer Rescue Association NSW (VRA) participated at the Symposium.

Busways Work Health and Safety Manager Joanne Edwards says safety training for both our own team and community response crews is a key component to improve safety for everyone.

“This is a really crucial topic and the Symposium was quite timely as we head towards National Road Safety Week starting on 15 May which reminds all road users to act safely on our roads,” Ms Edwards said.

“Busways keenly supports emergency response in our operating regions with planning, training, preparedness, and participation,” Ms Edwards said.

“That includes training events like last week’s Symposium as well as hosting fire crews training at our depots for safely handling electric fleet in Western Sydney and hybrid buses in Adelaide,” she said. 

“Busways has a seat at the table on local emergency service committees responding to floods and fires, to help with these constantly evolving situations, and support customer information and evacuation efforts where needed.

“We also support and would like to thank our great team of brave men and women who volunteer in emergency services units. Their selfless contributions are an important part of the fabric of our community.”

“For example, Port Macquarie Busways driver Sereena Ward gave up her time to train at the NSW State Road Crash Rescue Symposium - she’s been volunteering with the SES for 19 years!”