EMERGENCY services hope new signs in the Grampians National Park will help eliminate the number of rescues.
After a spate of rescues in the past year, the Department of Health and Human Services and Parks Victoria worked together to develop a new ‘survive the heat’ campaign to raise awareness of risks in the park.
Parks Victoria’s Tammy Schoo said the campaign involved new signs and posters at all the major trails in the parks, including MacKenzie Falls, The Pinnacle and Mt Rosea.
“The campaign is about getting people to understand how to prepare for the heat when they are walking outdoors,” she said.
”Awareness is an issue and it people are considering coming to the park, then they need to be prepared.
“The campaign recognises that there has been a lot of rescues because people aren't prepared.”
Ms Schoo said the trials were the signs would be placed are all longer walks and areas where there have been rescues.
“There has been a need for this campaign – there has been an increase in visitation in the past 18 months, and there has been a lot of visitors who are not prepared.
“This is a trial program, so if we get good results, we'll take it statewide.
“It's important people are prepared for any visit, load up on information and make sure they understand the risks.”
Ms Schoo said the campaign was the result of many agencies and emergency services working together. Ambulance Victoria Horsham senior team manager Paul Burton welcomed the campaign.
“It will have a positive effect on the wellbeing of visitors and tourists,” he said.
“This type of information is needed to help people prepare for the heat.”
Mr Burton said dehydration, sun exposure and hot weather could cause heat stroke.
“Heatstroke occurs when the core body temperature rises about 40.5 degrees and the body’s internal systems start to shut down,” he said.
“Many organs in the body suffer damage and the body temperature must be reduced quickly.”