Mildura Weekly : Friday March 6 2015 Vol 9 No 17
NEWS 27 FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2015 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU Electrical upgrade for MIAS • From Page 25 The boxes, once com- pleted, will come in handy for storing memorabilia and items of sentimental value. The power upgrade will also allow members to work on the many projects com- missioned by the commu- nity or even schools in the district. “We have built, repaired and renovated a wide variety of items,” Peter said. When the Mildura Weekly visited, the men had just completed a red gum outdoor table commission, and were about to start work on a large stationary engine and genera- tor plant. The men hope to have that going in time for the upcoming Coomealla- Dareton 90th Celebrations on the long weekend in June. The engine/generator plant project will see mem- bers learning new skills, something, Peter says, is part and parcel of the shed’s op- erations. “There are a lot of skills amongst our members, and they are happy to pass them along to others,” he said. For more Men in a Shed information contact Peter on 5027 4535. The bank has been a sup- porter of the Dareton Men in a Shed since it was estab- lished in 2006. Since then, it has donated more than $17,000 to the group. SIX domestic firewood collec- tion sites near Mildura and Rob- invale are set to open after the completion of tree harvesting. Residents will be able to col- lect firewood for domestic use from within the designated col- lection areas until June 30. Collection areas at Buxtons Bend and Graces Bend near Mil- dura will open tomorrow, while collection area at Coreena Bend West (4) near Robinvale will open on Saturday, March 14. Coreena Bend, Billabong Track, Pile Bend 1 and Piam- bie East, River Track – also near Robinvale – will open on March 21. The designated firewood col- lection areas in these locations will be marked by official signs. More information about the exact location of collection ar- eas near Mildura and Robinvale, and regulations for collecting firewood, is available by visiting www.delwp.vic.gov.au/firewood. “These areas are opening slightly after the opening of the collection season statewide on March 1 to allow sufficient time for harvesting of the trees in a manner that is safer to our staff,” District Manager, Parks Victoria, Peter Foster said. “Those collecting firewood must only collect fallen trees.” Parks Victoria and Depart- ment of Environment, Land, Water and Planning staff will be patrolling parks, forests and re- serves to ensure people are do- ing the right thing while collect- ing firewood. Concealed cameras will be used in some areas. Fines of up to $7380 can ap- ply for offences, along with one year imprisonment, or both. Firewood season set to open GETTING lowered eight me- tres from a hovering heli- copter into rough surf and pulling a person to safety is all in a day’s work for rescue swimmer Isaak Newcombe. The 21-year-old volun- teer is a member of the 23- man Victorian division of the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service, which patrols the State’s coastline. Victoria’s two Westpac helicopters – Lifesaver 36 and 37 – are based in Mel- bourne and Geelong, and can be used for shark pa- trols, static line rescues, search and rescues, while also providing support for inland emergencies. Made up of a dispatcher, pilot and rescue swimmer, the helicopter crew’s prima- ry focus is to provide air sup- port for the lifesavers on the beach, and monitor swim- mers who have ventured outside the red and yellow beach safety flags. Operating in six states, the Westpac helicopter ser- vice is the longest serving search and rescue helicop- ter service in the world, and has completed 700,000 mis- sions since it was founded in 1973. Speaking to Sacred Heart Primary School students on Tuesday, Isaak says his two years as a rescue swimmer have exceeded expectations. “I am responsible for be- ing on the end of the static line,” Isaak said. “My role is to secure the patient in our strop and our dispatcher – once he’s seen my signal – will lift me up. “I am also a first re- sponder on the beach, so if the patient does need emer- gency medical care, I am trained to start first aid until an ambulance or the rest of the crew arrive.” Although daunting at first, Isaak described the feel- ing of jumping out of a heli- copter as “amazing.” “The first few times I was a bit scared because it is a long way down!” he said. “Our static line is 10 metres, and our standard drop is between four and eight me- tres depending on the surf, but the crew look after you very well, so it’s never been a worry.” On board the AS350B ‘Squirrel’ helicopter as it landed on the Sacred Heart Primary School grounds, Isaak said one of the most rewarding parts of his job is speaking to Victorian stu- dents about water safety. SHPS – which donated $500 to the not-for-profit organisation – was one of only 30 Australian schools to receive a visit from the helicopters after successful- ly completing the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Schools Program. “We collected samples of the students work and put a little package together, which we sent off to enter the com- petition for the landing... and we won!” SHPS Deputy Principle Emma Rutherford said. Westpac helicopter makes special visit • LIFESAVER: Isaak Newcombe was a member of the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter crew that visited Sacred Heart Primary School on Tuesday. BELOW: The chopper lands on the school’s grounds, much to the delight of waiting students. Bridgestone Service Centre Mildura, your local tyre experts. Mildura East, 54 Seventh St 5021 2466 Australia’s most trusted tyre brand. Bridgestone has been named as the ‘Most Trusted Tyre Brand’ in an independent survey conducted by Reader’s Digest Australia. 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