COMMUNITY FIRST RESPONDER PROGRAM
MT WILSON/MT IRVINE RURAL FIRE BRIGADE
The Community First Responder Program is a joint initiative of the RFS and the NSW Ambulance Service. It aims to provide certain RFS volunteers with the necessary expertise and equipment to provide emergency medical response in areas where the Ambulance Service is likely to be delayed by virtue of distance. In the case of Mt Wilson/Mt Irvine Rural Fire Brigade, selected and trained volunteer firefighters will be supported by both services to provide an immediate local emergency medical response pending the arrival of Paramedics
- First ‘Community First Responder Program’ in region
- 7 graduates – Barry Freeman, Peter Raines (SDC), Beth Raines (Captain), Kathleen Oakes, Diana Landsberg, Libby Raines, Suzzane Daly
- Mt Wilson and Mt Irvine are isolated villages in the upper Blue Mountains. The ambulance service comes from Lithgow and is 30-45 minutes away. Resident numbers are small but the nearby busy road and the visitor numbers give plenty of opportunity for the need for an ambulance.
- Almost 300 residents between the two villages, 75% of which are part time or weekenders. A large proportion are retirees.
- Approx 70 full time residents of whom only 12 are under the age of 50
- Good rainfall and rich basalt soil mean that the villages have become famous for their European style gardens, the temperate rainforests and their walnut and chestnut trees. The peak times for visitors are spring and especially autumn when the nuts are harvested. Visitors then can peak at 500 per day on weekends
- Villages are situated on the edge of the Blue Mountains World Heritage site and attract many bushwalkers, canyoners and campers. In the warmer months their numbers can peak on weekends at 200 per day.
- Villages are 10 minutes from the Bells Line of Road, a busy road from Sydney to Lithgow. NRMA has declared this road ‘currently one of the most dangerous in Australia’.