NO sooner had they finished call outs from the storm that hit the city Tuesday, SES volunteers were taking advantage of the swollen Macquarie River, refreshing their training and flood water operation skills on Wednesday night.
Zeak Smith, Rescue Officer with Bathurst SES, said around 20 volunteers attended the training session on the Macquarie River, which covered all three levels of flood rescue; land based rescue, on water operator and the highest and most challenging level - in water operator.
Mr Smith said the group started in daylight hours honing their flood operation skills at they took the rescue boat up and down the river.
When darkness fell the training transitioned into night operation training, using Arc Angel inflatable rescue boats and rescue poles.
Mr Smith said volunteers practiced a number of techniques on the night, all of which would be used in a real rescue operation.
"The rescue poles are used when the operator stand on the shore and reaches out five to six metres, with the pole.
"We also trained with throw bags and torpedo flotation devices.
Mr Smith said the swollen river presented the perfect opportunity for volunteers to refresh their skills.
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"It's been a long time since we've been able to train like this, at least 12 months.
"Whenever the water level reaches one-and-a-half metres in the Macquarie River, we grab the opportunity to get in and practice our skills," he said.
He said the unit was fortunate that despite the large operation the night before, all the jobs were completed, which meant the members were free to come to the river and train.
"We were really lucky, all the jobs from Tuesday night were finalised, so there was nothing outstanding and the storm that followed didn't cause any damage."
Many of the calls taken by the SES on Tuesday night were for leaking roofs following the downpour of rain across the city.
The SES also had to assist with road closures due to flooding along Eleven Mile Drive and the Russell Street underpass.
"We also had crews going out to Rockley and Burraga due to trees on the road and washouts," Mr Smith said.