1. Hansard & Papers
  2. Legislative Assembly
  3. 29 May 1997



Mr CHAPPELL (Northern Tablelands) [6.48 p.m.]: I bring to the attention of the House the great success that has been achieved by the Glen Innes Rescue Organisation since its formation 20 years ago. The Glen Innes Rescue Organisation, which is affiliated with the Volunteer Rescue Association, was one of the first rescue organisations established in country New South Wales. Those who remember the genesis of that organisation will know that the first country squad was based in Dubbo. The Glen Innes organisation was established by Sergeant Ray Tyson of the well-remembered New South Wales Police Rescue Squad. It was established - as many organisations have been established - because of a disaster. During the 1974 Easter holidays a serious motor vehicle accident occurred south of Glen Innes in which several people were seriously injured. Apart from an axe and a pinch-bar in the boot of a police car no other equipment was available to extricate the injured people from the wreckage.

It was fortuitous that a member of the Glen Innes Lions Club who was passing by and who witnessed this appalling accident decided to do something about it. The Glen Innes Lions Club, in common with many other organisations in that area, decided to establish this organisation. That club started a fund-raising drive to establish a fully equipped rescue squad with the most up-to-date rescue equipment and well-trained personnel. It established contact with the Dubbo Rescue Squad, the New South Wales Volunteer Rescue Association, the State Emergency Service, local police and ambulance officers and formed the Glen Innes Rescue Organisation.

The Lions Club and the community at large got behind that organisation and quickly provided it with funds. Sergeant Ray Tyson claimed that the Glen Innes squad was the first rescue organisation in New South Wales to be formed with money in the bank and a Toyota four-wheel drive vehicle already paid for. It was quite an achievement for this organisation to start off with money in the bank at a time when not a lot was known about the potential of such organisations. Over the 20 years since its establishment the organisation has been a leader of high repute amongst VRA organisations and all emergency services in northern New South Wales, if not the State.

As a spin-off of the Glen Innes Rescue Organisation and with a great deal of support from it, VRA squads were formed at Armidale, Guyra and Inverell, and an SES squad was formed at Deepwater. The replacement value of the organisationís assets would be conservatively valued at $250,000. Taking into account the wastage of material and equipment due to use and the passing of time, probably another couple of hundred thousand dollars could be added to that figure. The organisation continues to achieve great success. It recently purchased a global positioning system, without which a group of injured people in a wilderness area would not have been located by the rescue helicopter. Because of the GPS those people were picked up with pinpoint accuracy in the shortest possible time and taken for treatment.

It is a great credit to those who formed the organisation and served it, several throughout its 20-year history; to the community which has supported it; and in particular to the Lions Club, that this organisation has provided stirling support and leadership to the community as a whole. The personnel are highly trained. Many are involved in and are fully trained in vertical rescue. They perform light industrial, rural and domestic services and have joined with other organisations and participated in training exercises. Their latest purchase, which was made necessary because of side-impact protection in modern vehicles, was a Hurst Paladin combination tool. The organisation is intent on keeping up to date and continuing to provide the sterling service it has provided over the last 20 years.