In prior years, ESA personnel have had the opportunity to assist interstate and overseas jurisdictions in their responses to emergencies. Due to travel restrictions relating to the COVID-19 public health emergency, there were limited opportunities for interstate and overseas deployments during 2020-21.
ACTAS assistance with COVID-19
Intensive Care Paramedic Simon Gallagher deployed interstate to Victoria and the Northern Territory as part of the Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AusMAT) responses for the pandemic. In September 2020, Simon was part of the response to the Nursing Care crisis in Victoria. Simon was sent to various nursing homes to assist and guide each aged care facility in designing and implementing a response plan to the actual or possible COVID-19 outbreak in their facility. During his 14-day deployment his team visited approximately 21 nursing homes.
Simon was also deployed to the Howard Springs quarantine facility in Darwin in January 2021. During this 28-day deployment Simon was involved in the testing and screening for COVID-19 of new arrivals at Darwin airport, then reallocated to a team looking after confirmed COVID-19 cases and their close contacts.
Flood assistance to NSW
In March 2021, approximately 10 million Australians were under a severe flood warning and at least 18 000 people were evacuated from NSW. Five members from the ESA PI&E business unit were deployed to NSW as Public Information Officers and Media Liaison Officers to help support NSW State Emergency Service crews respond to the declared emergency. Mr Scott Hanckel from ESA Risk and Planning was also deployed to assist NSW State Emergency Services as a Liaison Officer during the March 2021 floods.