16 February 2007

Just dial 132 500 for the SES

| johnboy
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[First filed: February 15, 2007 @ 16:19]

Simon Corbell has proudly announced a new phone number for when you need the SES to come along and put a tarp on your roof.

It replaces the old number of 6207 8455. The new number is the same in NSW just to make your life easier, but be warned it’s going to be answered by the Canberra Connect mob which should free up some resources in the SES at least.

UPDATED: I’ve had a mail in from an SES member who chooses to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the politburo:

I can’t comment on this on RA as ESA regularly trolls through the site looking at comments… Put simply, they do not like criticism from their members, and they can make life tough for those who would speak out. Like sack me. Apparently if you have a problem with something in SES you have to go through the chain of command, which means once it leaves a unit at commander level and gets to ESA, it is never heard of again. The politics (and nepotism) that exists in ESA is quite incredible.

Anyway, the problem with this new number is that it adds another link into the communication system, and as we know, the system in place is already rubbish as ESA cannot handle or coordinate the masses of calls they get whenever there is a situation, such as the bushfires, or even major storm damage.

By using the NSW number for SES call outs people will have to report the damage, address, etc to Canberra Connect, who will then relay this onto ESA. This will cause a time delay, as well as incongruous information, given that Canberra Connect people have no idea about storm damage etc.

Thus, the way I see it, we will end up with garbled messages about storm damage, and yet when we get to the job it will bare no resemblance to what we thought it would be. It will just add more confusion to where crews are being deployed. At present we often end up with Tuggeranong crews working in Belconnen and Belconnen crews working in Tuggeranong simply because ESA can’t get their act together regarding deployments. As well, the new, all singing all dancing Firelink comms system is useless, absolutely and totally useless. As soon as you have more than 4-5 vehicles on the road it falls over, and yet they continue to persist with it. I had a good laugh when it was demonstrated to Corbell a month or so ago and he declared it to be working perfectly. That was because they put 2-3 vehicles on the road and no more.

It is a good idea to have a dedicated number, but the way they have done it defies logic. They would be better off having a direct link to ESA in Curtin so that trained SES/RFS members can answer calls and make judgements based on experience.

I should add that SES and RFS are going to take some severe cost cutting over the next year or so. Some of the proposals that have been put forward by the new bean counting Commissioner are just laughable, simply because everyone in the filed knows that they will not work. Tony Graham appears to be stuck in the middle of one, the need for more resources, and two, his political masters telling him to cut back on spending. Needless to say, there is a great deal of consternation and anger in both SES/ RFS volunteers at how the government is treating us.

Having said all this, I still think it’s a great thing to do, and I love doing it.

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Rawhide Kid, Yes they do, At Night there is something like 70+ lines that come from around Australia, So there is someone there. I had to call it a few weeks back at 11:15pm when some woman hit a light pole (yes she was pissed)

Do Canberra connect work past 5.00?
The new 132500 reverts back to COMCEN after hours

Agreed. Got a lot of time for people who do this stuff in their spare time!

Shout out to Thumper and Mael, Good Luck guys.

I’m on call.

Cya all if you haven’t been praying enough or if you haven’t been nice to small children and stuff.

Sheeyat! Just when I washed my car for first time in weeks.

On alerts and incoming storms. Last Saturday the storm only rated a yellow alert scrolling across the screen occasionally – no “whoop whoop” siren that is guaranteed to catch the attention of us cyclone-fearing Qlders, and many others to boot.

Now the SES website says that Yellow means “Likely impact”. I note this never got upgraded from yellow to red all afternoon, even when “likely” was clearly turning into “Certain”.

The result of Saturday as tallied in CT today was claims for 500 houses damaged.
So what’s gotta happen for the more serious alerts and sound effects to be used, fer chrissakes???

And for those who haven’t read it, today’s warnings is:

Whoop whoop whoop whoop!!!

For people in the
the ACT and parts of the
South West Slopes and
Southern Tablelands Forecast Districts.

Issued at 3:16 PM Friday, 16 February 2007.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce very heavy rainfall and flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.

Major locations within the warning area include Cooma and Tumbarumba.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* Don’t walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
* Unplug computers and appliances.
* Avoid using the phone during the storm.
* Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 13 2500.
* In the ACT, ring the ACT Emergency Service on 6207 8455
The next warning is due to be issued by 6:15 PM.

*just to note, the calls from around Australia are different lines, not connected with Canberra Connect*, Canberra Connect gives procedures to deal with the situation if someone calls the SES number. The reason the number is there is because the SES gets a lot of stupid calls in the night, so the Canberra Connect staff are now filtering them.

Canberra Connect is open 24 hours, and gets calls from all around Australia at night. But the fact is, any person that calls that number just gets put onto the SES. Canberra Connect don’t do anything about it, they cant.

^^ ouch

chikka chikka.

BTW rock trolls, it wasn’t me.

I did hear that on NYE it was not possible to get thru to the SES that night.
– Of course NYE is not a good time for a crisis!

Because the gutless rock trolls that trawl this site looking for myself and Thumpers comments won’t actually log on to correct the inaccuracy of the original post, I’ll do it.

The 132 500 number will be monitored by Emergency Services, and in times of caller overflow it will then go to Canberra Connect.

Organisational planning and liaison has taken place and Canberra Connect are aware of their responsibilities towards calling out additional/overtime staff if required.

That’s at least what I’ve been told by somebody who wears orange with SES written all over it.

The SES has the capacity to man the phones without impinging on its operational capabilities – this is my personal opinion.

They are open 24 hours for certain services (the rangers etc) so presumably for this also.

Do Canberra connect work past 5.00?

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