Australia — THE loss of wildlife in Tasmania’s summer bushfires is driving the push for a statewide emergency response unit.
Over the past 12 months, Southern Wildlife Rescue & Care has been working with emergency organisations and government departments to create a standard operating procedure in line with Victorian protocols.
Group secretary Rachel Meyers said the devastation caused by fires at Dunalley and Molesworth has proved the need for a strategy that will allow wildlife carers to work in a response, rather than recovery, category.
Rather than waiting until weeks after the event, the protocols would allow rescuers to respond much earlier, working alongside other emergency personnel.
The unit has more than 150 volunteers from a variety of backgrounds including retired nurses, wildlife carers and vets.
“With properly trained personnel and the right tools, we feel the wildlife emergency response unit will assist the emergency services to do their job,” Ms Meyers said.
“It makes our effort easier by treating animals quickly and handing on to vets for specialised care.”
The group is developing a mobile triage unit that it hopes will be ready before next summer. The trailer will be the first of its kind in the state and will act as a first-aid station for the rescuers.
“This trailer will help to rescue and rehabilitate injured wildlife with a safe, efficient and timely response that will ensure a higher rate of survival,” Ms Meyers said.
When not in use in a disaster the trailer will be used as an educational tool.