Recently I had the privilege of working a relief posting at Bulman Police Station.
Constable Belinda Parsons
I normally work in the Palmerston area and put my hand up to go bush for some remote policing experience.
It is one of the best decisions I have made!
The community was welcoming, I was thrown out of my comfort zone, and I gained some lasting memories that will carry me well into the future.
There were many highlights but one of the most impressive for me was visiting the local primary school and engaging with the kids. They are always happy to greet new people and I was met with a sea of smiling faces and asked a million questions.
The main reason for my visit this particular day was to present a talk to 10-12 year-old students and educate them about the proper use of the emergency ‘000’ number.
The clinic staff had raised the issue during the Community Safety Action Plan meeting. They reported a number of the children had been making nuisance calls and abusing the triple zero emergency line.
The presentation highlighted the difference between emergency and non-emergency situations, obscene/nuisance calls, and the role of the Emergency Services.
The kids got totally involved in the “Emergency…or NOT” game. They were given a heap of scenarios and had to yell out if it was an emergency (thumbs up) or not (thumbs down). In the end they were coming up with their own scenarios, which was interesting and entertaining.
Two pictorials were presented. One illustrated a prank emergency call and the other an obscene phone call. The photographs were made up of local community members, clinic staff, and local landmarks to bring a localised feel to the presentation. The children also came up with the dialogue and captions for the pictorials as part of the activity.
A big thankyou goes out to the local nursing staff who graciously agreed to pose for most of the pictures. It was great to see the surprised look on the children’s faces when they recognised the nurses, but even better when they had a good laugh at the local modelling talent.
Overall, we had a great time, lots of laughs, and the “Emergency…or NOT” message received (I think). Remote policing definitely has its challenges and this was just one example of the many positive aspects to being a part of a remote community.