Three state-of-the-art High Clearance Vehicles are now in permanent operation for the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), expanding flood rescue capability by helping volunteers get to hard-to-reach places.

The vehicles, known as Unimogs, have been handed over to the SES by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) after being used on deployment in military operations.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the delivery of the Unimogs means the SES now boasts the most advanced fleet of flood operations vehicles in Australia.

“These high clearance vehicles will allow our SES volunteers to go where they haven’t been able to go before when helping people in floodwaters,” Ms Cooke said.

“The Unimogs have been refurbished, in partnership with the ADF, and have already been put to good use in the recent floods and storms across NSW. They’re able to operate in more than a metre of water and can also function as a mobile communication hub, which makes them well-suited to flood response.

“An additional three vehicles are also on the way, and securing these specialty vehicles helps improve the SES’s ability to respond to future flooding emergencies and better protect our communities.”

SES Commissioner Carlene York thanked the ADF for their support in helping boost rescue capability.

“These vehicles have already proven to be life-saving when they were used by our volunteers to assist with the rescue of people during the catastrophic Northern Rivers floods earlier this year,” Commissioner York said.

“One example was when a Unimog was used to rescue 12 people trapped in their house by rising floodwaters. The two families, including a young baby and their pets, were all rescued by SES volunteers who could only access the property using the specialty vehicle.”

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