Nambucca District Vehicle Rescue Association ends after 41 years of service to the community

Squad members from the NDVRA. Photo: supplied.


THE Nambucca District Vehicle Rescue Association (VRA) has been operating in the Nambucca Valley for 41 years since its inception in the early 1970s.

Following a long history of service to the community, the VRA has ended.

The Association began in response to a series of horrific accidents on the Pacific Highway.

“There was carnage here for a long time,” said Stuart Holmes, Deputy Captain at the final AGM.

“Our part of the Highway was a major part of the fatigue zone, for both truck drivers and car drivers.”

Membership of the squad has been made up of many locals, all of whom were on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist as required.

VRA Rescue NSW are primary responders for Road Crash Rescue, General Land Rescue and other specialist rescue operations involving Emergency Service personnel.

All VRA responders are volunteers who undergo training.

Members are accredited by the Minister for Emergency Services in rescue operations.

They are ready to lend “a helping hand, anywhere, anytime”.

There are currently more that 50 squads in NSW offering rescue and support services throughout NSW.

Mr Holmes said, “It would be nothing to get a 1am call out on the highway only to get home at 6 or 7 o’clock in the morning, have a shower, and then go to work.

“This is the type of dedication people made on behalf of the community.

“The FIX IT NOW Campaign ran for 28 years, but it wasn’t until 2007 when the Rudd Governments’ Minister for Transport, Anthony Albanese made the commitment to secure funding, that the upgrade to the Pacific Highway began.”

Mr Holmes said, “With the upgrade to dual separated carriageway there are now far fewer motor vehicle accidents.”

COVID had an impact on plans to train up new members to the squad.

Mr Holmes explained, “Just when we thought we could rescue the rescue squad, just when we got enough new members to resurrect the training squad, COVID restrictions were imposed and it was impossible for the new recruits to attain their competencies in the required time to save the squad.”

Nambucca Valley Councillor Susan Jenvey has this to say about the VRA, “The efforts of the volunteers in the VRA allowed our community to have the same level of service at accident sites as a metropolitan or large regional centre.”




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