EMERGENCY services will soon be able to respond quicker to incidents in Wimmera national parks.
Parks Victoria has started installing emergency markers in the Grampians and Little Desert National Parks, which will help emergency crews locate lost or injured people faster.
The markers contain alpha-numeric numbers – for example GNP130 for a site within the Grampians National Park – that allows a Triple Zero call-taker to pinpoint the caller’s exact location.
Parks Victoria is working with the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority, Ambulance Victoria and Victoria’s State Emergency Service to install 150 markers in the Grampians and six in the Little Desert.
Markers are already in place in the You Yangs Regional Park and Lerderderg State Park.
Parks Victoria regional fire and emergency program co-ordinator Mark Urquhart said this had helped reduce emergency response times, meaning injured people received faster medical attention.
“We identified emergency markers as a way to improve emergency service response during a multi-agency search and rescue learning exercise in the Grampians in late 2016,” he said.
“In the Grampians National Park the markers are located on popular walking track intersections and key lookouts – particularly at locations where we know there are a higher numbers of injuries, such as the Wonderland area, MacKenzie Falls, Hollow Mountain, Major Mitchell Plateau and Mount Abrupt.
“Visitors have already used the new markers to call for medical help, showing how essential they are for visitor safety.
“The end result is faster response times, which leads to better patient outcomes.”
State Emergency Service Grampians region operations manager Kendra Clegg said service units across Victoria were being called to an increased number of rescues.
The Stawell unit attended 54 rescues in 2016-17, up from 35 the year before.
“The VICSES rescue responders are trained volunteers who leave families, work or personal commitments to immediately respond to requests for assistance,” she said.
“These emergency markers give confidence to the rescue responders alongside Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria of where the incident is located and what will be required.”
Ambulance Victoria Horsham senior team manager Paul Burton said the markers would mean a reduced risk for both patients and responders.