The official opening of a new facility for the Northern Territory Emergency Services (NTES) Watarrka Volunteer Unit was held on Thursday 24 September, marking 10 years since NTES first began operations in the area.
NTES began servicing the Watarrka National Park area near Kings Canyon in 2005 when the then Parks and Wildlife Service NT gifted an old ranger station to the organisation for establishing an Emergency Response Officer and Volunteer Unit.
“The official opening of this new NTES facility is a significant event, not just for just for NTES but for the local community,” NTES Director Andy Warton said. “While the NTES volunteers provide capabilities such as road-crash rescue and land search, few of these services are delivered without support from other local agencies, departments and community members.
“What we see here is the perfect example of a whole community working together to serve the region in times of emergency, and we know that this new facility will further assist that cause.
“It’s not every day the Service has a new building and it is with pride that we have come together today as a community to officially open and celebrate the new building which houses the volunteers and importantly provides a base out of which the local emergency response operates.”
Today the district is well serviced by the Emergency Service Volunteers in conjunction with dedicated clinic staff which has increased the emergency response and capability for the area. The Unit provides emergency response capabilities not only for road crash rescue but land search, grass fires, first aid and assistance with medical emergencies.
“A successful NTES volunteer unit requires more than just volunteers. To really succeed, an NTES unit requires volunteers, strong community relationships and local employers who recognise the important role some of their employees elect make through NTES volunteering. In the case of Watarrka, they have it all,” said Mr Warton.