Wildlife first response for firefighters
The NSW Government has initiated a training package to help firefighters assist wildlife impacted by bushfires.
The Wildlife First Response Training for NSW Firefighters handbook gives firefighters on the frontline tools to assess and report injured wildlife; apply basic first aid; and transport wildlife to registered rehabilitators.
LAOKO contributed to the development of this handbook, with our Vice President (and Rural Fire Service volunteer) Elena Guarracino part of the taskforce that put it together.
“I think it is a really good document and provides RFS volunteers and emergency services with some practical tips about how to help burnt and injured wildlife found on or near the fireground,” says Elena.
“It provides some useful information on how to safely pick up injured animals and transport them to where they can get help, and minimise further stress to the animal,” says Elena.
Elena explained that injured animals aren’t often found until some days after the fire has gone through. They are found when ‘blacking out’ occurs: putting out burning logs and live coals after the immediate threat of fire has passed.
During the Black Summer bushfires, a number of native animals were rescued from the fireground by RFS volunteers and police, and brought to the LAOKO triage centre. This was in addition to the search and rescue LAOKO carried out to find and rescue burnt animals.
A total of 138 animals were brought to the LAOKO triage centre during the bushfires, including 35 koalas.
Friday 11 March, 2022