Emergency Service reminders for the Summer Highlight Section Myall Coast Port Stephens by News Of The Area - Modern Media - January 3, 2022 Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliot at the scene of the 2021 fires.By Tara CAMPBELL PREPARE a plan, don’t drive through flood water and swim between the flags – these are some of the summer safety tips NSW emergency service agencies have shared as the holidays approach. Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said Aussie summers are iconic, but they can also be tragic. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – [email protected] “Over the past few years, the NSW community has been hit hard, by fire, flood and even a pandemic, but these aren’t the only threats we face. “I would urge everyone to use the start of summer to start a conversation with your friends and families about being prepared for other seasonal natural disasters, including heatwaves, storms, boating and other water accidents,” he said. Police NSW Police Force Central Metropolitan Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell said summer is a particularly busy time of year for police and emergency services and urged the community to put safety first. “If you plan to consume alcohol, know your limits and do not drink and drive. “The roads will be busier than we have seen for a long time, so factor in extra time and remember that police will be out on the streets, on our roads, in, on and around the water, and even in the air,” Thurtell said. SES Every year people risk their lives and the lives of others by driving through floodwaters. “You wouldn’t run into a bushfire, so never drive, walk or ride through floodwater – it’s incredibly dangerous for both you and the volunteers who will need to rescue you. “Secure loose outdoor items, cleaning gutters and downpipes and trimming overhanging trees can also make a big difference when severe weather strikes,” NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said. Marine Rescue “Boaters should always log on with Marine Rescue when heading out and log off when they return via VHF Channel 16 or the free Marine Rescue App. It’s quick and simple and gives you the reassurance that our volunteers are watching out for your safe return,” said Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos. Surf LifeSaving Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steve Pearce spoke about the importance of water safety. “My message to beachgoers this summer is to only swim at patrolled beaches, stay between the red and yellow flags, always check conditions before heading out, wear a life jacket when boating or rock fishing, and be sure to keep an eye on your mates,” Mr Pearce said. Ambulance NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dr Dominic Morgan warned the community about the dangers of risk-taking behaviour resulting from excessive alcohol consumption and drug taking as the economy opens. “People have every right to enjoy a drink or two and let their hair down this summer, especially after a trying time during lockdown. “Be smart and considerate about it and make sure you stay safe and keep others safe while enjoying yourself in a responsible way, because there is nothing fun about ending your night in the back of an ambulance,” he said. All communities are urged to follow the following five steps: Know your risk: think about the area you’re in and the types of disasters that could affect you Plan now for what you will do: talk with your family and plan for what you will do if a disaster affects your area or where you plan to holiday this summer Get your home ready: prepare your home by doing general home maintenance and checking your insurance coverage Be aware – find out how to prepare, what to do if there is a disaster in your area or where you intend to holiday this summer and connect with emergency services or keep on top of local news reports to stay informed Look out for each other – share information with your family, friends and neighbours.