Download/View PDF - WAMS
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Download/View PDF - WAMS

The Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service Co-operative Limited, assisted by the SES, travelled by boat andhelicopter to deliver medical checks and mosquito repellant to the outlying villages isolated during thefloods which surrounded Walgett in February 2012.Walgett itself was cut off to the North, East and West with just the highway leading South open to highclearance vehicles only. To keep WAMS running smoothly throughout the crisis, a few staff who lived onoutlying properties were flown in by helicopter and the midwife whose home is in Lightning Ridge, all stayedin town in WAMS housing for the duration of the flood and only went home when the flood waters receded.A staff member whose home was totally flooded was also provided with a WAMS house.

Walgett, being situated on the junction of two rivers, the Barwon and Namoi, often faces times of flood,and because of this after the town was flooded in the 1950s , a levee was built around the town to protect itfrom future flooding. The flood of February 2012 was a major concern as it was meant to peak at a recordhigh which could have gone over the levee. Fortunately for the people of Walgett this didn’t eventuate.Namoi Village was eventually evacuated when power lines fell into the water and electricity had to beturned off. Only those with generators stayed in their homes. Gingie Village, though totally isolated, wassafe from flood waters due to the levee surrounding it, although snakes were a problem. Supplies wereboated out by the SES and WAMS staff .Meetings , involving the Walgett Shire, Walgett Police, Walgett Health Service, SES and WAMS wereheld every morning during the flood to work out the strategies needed to deal with the situations that arosebecause of the flood.As well as WAMS providing their usual service to the town, a doctor, midwife, registered nurses andAboriginal Health Workers visited the families isolated by the flood to deliver prescription medicines andother medications as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. The WAMS Chairperson also went on oneexcursion to give support to WAMS staff.Although the majority of the time was spent assisting those who needed help, some fun moments were hadby the locals and WAMS personnel. Dr Bob Small, a GP from Tasmania was given a guided tour by thelocals. He enjoyed capturing some of the more interesting sights around the area, and was most impressedWalgett Aboriginal Medical Service Co-operative Limited37 Pitt St (PO Box 396) Walgett NSW 2832Ph: 6828 1611 Fax: 6828 1201Web:

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