Stawell 2017 SES jobs almost doubled since same time last year | PHOTOS

INCREASE: Stawell SES have been busy this year with an abnormally high number of call outs.
INCREASE: Stawell SES have been busy this year with an abnormally high number of call outs.

Stawell State Emergency Service calls for assistance since the start of this year have almost doubled compared to the same time last year.

The Stawell unit has responded to 35 jobs so far this year, an increase from 18 jobs last year.

SES Grampians operations manager Kendra Klegg said the majority of this year’s jobs were assisting with carry outs in the Grampians National Park. 

“It has been a busy start to the year for many different reasons and we do not want this to be a trend for the future,” she said.

“Stawell has had more action in the Grampians National Park than normal, particularly with assistance in injury carry outs.”

In 2015 SES had around 65 tree down call outs, that figure was overwhelmed with 139 incidents last year. 

Ms Klegg said that trend had continued into 2017. 

“The weather over this summer has been quite erratic and because of strong winds and wind gusts we are still seeing a large number of trees coming down,” she said.

“SES units have prepared for storms and downpours instead of fires, but we are aware of the prolonged fire season so we are ready for that too.”

Ms Klegg also said she was impressed with the readiness and commitment shown by SES volunteers across the Grampians region.

“The work from our SES volunteers has been impressive, they have been ready to respond to a diverse range of call outs,” she said.

“It has also been great work from Parks Victoria, they have been making fantastic en-routes into building awareness to visitors and tourists on being ready and prepared before hiking trips in the Grampians National Park.”

Ms Klegg encouraged residents to be vigilant of wild weather and be prepared for fires on days of total fire ban. 

“We are having erratic weather on a weekly basis now so we want motorists to drive to the conditions on the region’s roads,” she said. 

“Keep updated on fire danger warnings in the Wimmera and across the state and have a fire ready plan in place, ready to put to action if necessary.”