A new training site has opened in Woodend to give the region’s emergency services personnel the skills they need to work with lifesaving flexible safety barriers when responding to incidents.

Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas, today visited the Woodend SES facility alongside Regional Roads Victoria, the Transport Accident Commission and VICSES.

Two stretches of new flexible safety barriers have been installed at the VICSES Woodend Unit so local volunteers can practice how to lay them down, cut them, and remove the posts if necessary

The training barriers are part of the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment to provide additional resources and training to the state’s emergency services, as 2,000km of new flexible barriers are rolled out on the state’s highest-risk roads.

Last year there were more than 1,700 hits on wire rope barriers, that’s 1,700 times that a vehicle hit these barriers instead of running off the road, into a tree or into the path of on-coming traffic.

The barriers are being installed as part of the Labor Government’s $1.4 billion Towards Zero Action Plan, which aims to ensure no one is seriously injured or killed on our roads.

VicRoads has been working closely with emergency services throughout the design and roll-out of the new barriers to ensure their access needs are incorporated.

VicRoads is also developing detailed mapping of barrier access breaks, emergency crossover points and interchanges which will be compatible with Triple Zero systems.

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas

“We’re installing flexible safety barriers because we know they save lives.”

“Providing training to local emergency services volunteers in how to work with the flexible wire rope barriers is a fantastic initiative.”

“We’re making sure our local SES Units and CFA Brigades have the skills they need when responding to incidents in this changed environment.”

Quotes attributable to Operations Manager – Victoria State Emergency Service, Andrew Gill

“Last year VICSES volunteers responded to more than 1,400 road rescues. That’s 1,400 too many.”

“This collaborative initiative ensures our volunteers are equipped with the latest knowledge and techniques to assist with road rescues.”

Quote attributable to Safe System Road Infrastructure Director – Regional Roads Victoria, Bryan Sherritt

“This demonstration barrier at Woodend SES is part of our commitment to ensure emergency services have the resources and tools they need to continue safely responding to emergencies on roads with new barriers.”

Quote attributable to Lead Director Road Safety – TAC, Samantha Cockfield

“Victoria’s emergency services have long played a critical, front-line role in reducing death and serious injury on our roads. It’s vital that we provide emergency services with the skills and knowledge to work with and around these life-saving barriers.”