Almost 100 SES and emergency services personnel will take part in Operation Water Rats at the Fairbairn Dam this weekend.
Almost 100 SES and emergency services personnel will take part in Operation Water Rats at the Fairbairn Dam this weekend.

Drills expand SES links

SES crews and police from the Central Queensland region are heading out to the Fairbairn Dam this weekend for the annual Operation Water Rats training exercise.

With almost 100 people expected to take part, it is the largest training event of its kind to be held at the dam in recent years.

The Central Highlands Regional Council and its SES crews are especially excited that an SES crew from Maitland in NSW will be making the trip to the region for the exercise.

"We have a special relationship with the Maitland community," Mayor Peter Maguire said.

"They did a lot of fundraising towards the local flood appeals in 2008 and this year, and also sent SES volunteers to help relieve our exhausted crews in January. One of them caught wind of the Water Rats exercise and received permission from SES NSW to bring a crew up."

Other SES crews will come from the local area, Alpha, Emu Park, Yeppoon, Gladstone and the Banana Shire.

There will be up to eight flood boats in operation and water police from the coast will also attend.

"As well as providing vital training and skills development, it is great for team building, developing consistent good practice and excellent networking for the SES volunteers and police who attend," Cr Maguire said. "In any disaster event, to have those relationships already established puts you a long way ahead and this weekend is a great opportunity for the people involved, right across Central Queensland, to get to know each other and work collectively on emergency responses."


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