SAVEM 2019-2020 Activation Day 52

As usual at this point in a major bushfire activation, SAVEM has plenty of work still to do. Only yesterday, a burned kangaroo required euthanasia at the Cudlee Creek fireground, and during this last week on Kangaroo Island the SAVEM team checked several sites identified as requiring a revisit, and found wallabies, kangaroos, koalas and birds in need of our assistance.

The key to success at this stage of field deployment is flexibility – one of the five fundamental principles of AIIMS™. We continue to send resources into the field to match the requirements found, or notified by other agencies. A typical day begins with a team meeting to plan our activities based on the previous day’s work, and ends with a review of our taskings, identifying any remaining incomplete.

The workload in SAVEM Control has now settled enough to allow me to leave Control in the hands of our Logistics Manager and join the field teams. As Commander, I frequently find the synergies created by the teams over the last nearly eight weeks help the workflow and dynamics of the day significantly. Team members have built important relationships with local people and other agencies, as well as being able to navigate around the fireground efficiently and safely.

SAVEM will be on the KI fireground this week from Tuesday to Thursday. An important part of our presence now is to help in the transition to Recovery, where processes are handed back to local people – including the management of calls from the public or other agencies regarding animals in distress. SAVEM will maintain a presence on the Island until our assistance is no longer actively required. As well, we are committed to assisting the Island communities and their animals during the Recovery years ahead.

(Photo: Lathami Conservation Park from the north looking towards the Yerda Track, at one of the eastern extremities of the fireground. Much of the Allocasuarina habitat of the Glossy Black Cockatoo in this Park has been lost. Some habitat for other animals remains. Our 2019 4WD training in our Hilux vehicles has proved very beneficial).