The back-breaking work of filling sandbags has just become safer and more effective for members of Port Stephens SES thanks to a donation from Ampcontrol.
Fabricated at Ampcontrol’s machining workshops in Tomago, the three metal sandbag fillers were a designed by Ampcontrol team members. The donations were kindly received by the Raymond Terrace-based SES unit supported by Port Stephens MP Kate Washington.
In the aftermath of the recent floods, Ms Washington contacted David Douglas, Port Stephens SES unit controller, to see if they needed any support. His response without hesitation was for the steel-framed devices used to fill sand bags at speed.
“Shovelling sand into hessian bags one-by-one is back-breaking work, and our local SES volunteers were run off their feet. So I contacted Wayne Diemar [Product Manager at Ampcontrol], sent them a photo and asked if they could assist. Shortly afterwards, Ampcontrol had constructed three of the sandbag devices and donated them for free,” Ms Washington said.
“Ampcontrol is a great local business and a significant local employer. I’m so appreciative of their support and generosity, and I know how grateful our SES volunteers are, too,” Ms Washington concluded.
Mr Diemar said that the units, which could hold up to 10kg of sand, were easier to use by SES members and members of the public.
“The sandbag fillers enable SES members to bag the sand more efficiently and free up personnel in emergency situations as with instructions (SOP) the general public could come along again to bag themselves in emergency situations. Not to forget the ability for them to throw them in the back of a ute and get them to the needed locations quicker,” Mr Diemar said.
Mr Douglas said the devices were a welcome addition, allowing members to work more efficiently in a safer environment.
“They also provide a quicker response time which is important in times of flood. We can even set up sand bagging points at places such as Hinton in times of predicted heavy rains and flash flooding,” he said.
“We are greatly appreciative of all donations and would like to thank both Ampcontrol and Ms Washington for their assistance in helping us meet our challenges in times of floods,” Mr Douglas concluded.
Follow the link to read the article in the Port Stephens Examiner.