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Volunteer surf lifesavers from Sydney’s Northern Beaches have assisted NSW Police with a door knock to check on vulnerable members of the community after a severe storm cut power to many households on Sydney’s North last week.

On Tuesday November 26, a severe storm hit Sydney, damaging houses and bringing down trees and powerlines. Some 50,000 houses were without power immediately after the storm and around 4,000 homes are still without power a week after the incident.

Although the severe weather event lasted for only 10-minutes, the storm and wind-speeds were described as being near-cyclonic.

The State Emergency Service (SES) was fully-committed with clean-up operations after the storm and with the NSW Rural Fire Service similarly stretched, fighting bush fires burning across the state, NSW Police turned to Surf Life Saving Northern Beaches to access their volunteer base to help with the massive task of checking on those without power.

Volunteer surf lifesavers were recruited to knock on doors and check up on people who are listed by Ausgrid as requiring special assistance – including a requirement for ventilating machines, oxygen and other medical devices requiring uninterrupted power.

Volunteers knocked on over 350 doors of homes occupied by people identified as requiring special assistance. It was a large task with emergency services personnel working collaboratively during the exercise.

Duty Officer Kieran Menzies, who was involved in the door knock, said that as a result of the joint exercise, four people were taken to hospital for treatment and a further 18 people were identified as requiring assistance due to loss of power to their homes.

Surf Life Saving NSW President George Shales thanked the volunteer surf lifesavers who generously gave up their weekends to participate in the post-storm door knock.

“The weekend door knock demonstrates the commitment our volunteer members have to keeping our community safe - on and off the beach,” said George Shales.

“Our surf life savers selflessly gave their time to knock on the doors of some of the most vulnerable members of our community - to make sure they were okay after the Sydney storms.

“We thank them for their time and dedication,” Shales concluded.


Monday 2 December 2019