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Victoria search and rescue team deployed to Qld

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Victoria has sent another urgent contingent of emergency services personnel to Queensland to assist with the current flood crisis, Deputy Premier Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan announced today.

Mr Ryan farewelled the 11-strong Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) contingent of Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), Country Fire Authority (CFA) and State Emergency Service (SES) personnel deployed to Queensland to provide critical emergency support in response to the devastating floods.

"This is the fifth Victorian deployment of emergency services personnel to Queensland to assist with this unfolding disaster," Mr Ryan said.

"They will join with two MFB USAR technicians already deployed to the area as a part of a USAR team from Victoria, New South Wales, Adelaide, Western Australia and New Zealand.

"The team will assist in the crucial task of inspecting flood compromised structures, looking for survivors and clean up efforts. Mr Ryan said Victoria was also preparing to send 40 police to Queensland on Monday to assist with search and recovery efforts.

"As Minister for Emergency Services I have also today called a meeting of the Victorian Emergency Management Council to discuss Victoria's current rainfall and flood situation and support for Queensland," Mr Ryan said.

"Queensland is facing a long clean up and recovery process, so whatever Victoria can do to assist Queensland we are ready and willing. MFB Acting CEO and Chief Officer Shane Wright said the USAR was the discipline of searching and rescuing people from often confined spaces.

"USAR technicians are also trained to assess damage to infrastructure to determine its ongoing viability and in the case of buildings they may also take measures to secure their safety," Mr Wright said.

The contingent comprises five MFB, three CFA and three SES USAR technicians.

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