Archive for the ‘Archived Stories’ Category

More assistance to wildlife

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

Newcastle CREST has been out again this week assisting the Native Animal Trust Fund Inc (NATF) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). Josey from the IFAW was kind enough to pass on the following words about the recent operations and some great pics:_MG_2847 (Large)


Operation started Mon 14 Oct- called by RFS due to wildlife being affected in fires at Heatherbrae and Salt Ash.

Black walks for wildlife rescue were a joint exercise conducted by NATF Disaster team, Hunter Koala Preservation Society (HKPS) and Wildlife in Need of Care (WINC) and members of the three organisations were involved in search and recovery of native wildlife.

Walks have continued all of last week. Habitat tremendously devastating and effect on wildlife horrendous. The fires were so fast moving and intense that little wildlife survived in some areas.  

Zenani eats some leaf (Large)Salt Ash

Wildlife affected: 1 koala – in care with HKPS, 6 possums in care, red belly black snake euthanased, 6 bandicoots didn’t make it, high number of dead possums and reptile species found, several echidnas dead. Also reunited a dog found on fire grounds with its very worried owner who was very grateful.


Wildlife affected:  5 koalas, 1 euthanased due to severity of burns. 4 in care with NATF and HKPS, including one baby found 22 Oct by RAFF staff sitting curled up on a road on their property was placed into care with NATF carer. We searched for its mother today to no avail. Baby is doing well burned paws singed fur but eating and drinking well.

The long term impact of wildlife unknown as many will  have fled fires and possibly come back and face lack of food water and shelter

_MG_2883 (Large)Members of public calling saying animals coming into backyard seeking refuge and food/water. Fire-affected animals who have fled their habitat areas are now impacting on surrounding areas of wildlife

NATF and HKPS and WINC volunteers have worked tirelessly around the clock to search rescue and recovery of any affected species.

IFAW has supported our work by supplying vital radios, fire gear, medical supplies and veterinary treatment. IFAW took photographs.

The CREST team have been present on fire grounds providing vital communication support for search and rescue teams. We wouldn’t be able to do the work without them.

There are also fires now in Minmi and Lack Macquarie (Dudley and Redhead) which will have a big impact on many wildlife species and habitat (possums, echidnas, ground  dwelling and arboreal animals)

The Heatherbrae operation will continue until end of the week and then we will be assessing Lake Macquarie area when possible.

These worthwhile organisations can be contacted via their websites:_MG_2835 (Large)






CREST active during the fires

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Newcastle CREST have been active this week assisting the Native Animal Trust Fund (NATF) in the Salt Ash area. Native wildlife were found in the area injured or killed by the recent fires.DSC00382a

CREST established radio communications to provide a safety net for the NATF volunteers.

Sadly many animals could not be saved from the fires and had perished. Only a small number of injured animals were treated including one koala that was assisted by the volunteers on site and relocated for long term recovery.

DSC00378aNewcastle CREST has a long and proud history with NATF who rely on the communications network to work safely in a dangerous environment following fires.

Further information about the NATF is available on their website at:

CREST farewells Jean Henderson

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Jean Henderson, member of Newcastle CREST passed away on 1st October 2012 and was farewelled today at Wallsend.

Jean had been a member for 17 years and had continued to actively take part in events until shortly before her death. Over the years, Jean had received recognition for her assistance with the Maitland floods and bushfire events in the Hunter region. In 2006, Jean was presented with the CREST NSW Monitor of the year award.

Newcastle CREST Secretary Dianne Elphick said “Jean rarely missed an event and Newcastle CREST does about 46 events a year”

Jean was born in Clark Street Wallsend. Her first job was at the Wire and Rope Works and she later worked at the Wallsend Hospital as a nurses aid.

Jean had four children Brad, Andrew, Timothy and Sarah. She was the proud grandmother of Jayden, Paige, Zoe and Alex.


We’ve become more social!

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Following on from Newcastle CREST recently joining Facebook, CREST NSW Inc is now on Twitter. We’ll be providing ‘on the spot’ updates to our Twitter feed with photographs and links to other websites.

The twitter account @crestnsw can also be used to get in touch with CREST. Follow us today!

We ‘like’ Newcastle CREST

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

The Newcastle Division of CREST NSW has recently joined Facebook. Reaching out to its members and the community, Newcastle CREST is using Facebook to announce up-coming events and to attract new members.

Members are encouraged to ‘like’ posts regarding future exercises and visitors are very welcome to keep in touch.

Visit the Newcastle CREST Facebook page at:

CREST sizzles hot at the WICEN BBQ

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

On Sunday 29 April, members from Sydney, Singleton, Prospect and Central Coast attended a BBQ and get together organised by WICEN NSW at the Amateur Radio NSW (ARNSW) site in Dural.

WICEN like CREST is a specialist squad of the Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) and has a team of experienced amateur radio operators that volunteer their time to provide field communications.

WICEN put together an enjoyable information and education session which included information about up-coming communications events and some hands on technical demonstrations. These provided a great opportunity for members from both organisations to share their experiences of setting up communications networks.

One of the CREST field stations

Those attending were invited to show off their field communications stations. The Sydney CREST team set up a UHF repeater and portable mast and the team from Singleton / Central Coast demonstrated a VHF repeater with a crossband linked remote station with a standalone and vehicle mounted masts.

A detailed review of the other stations on display can be found on the WICEN page here.

Evan Longworth recognised for his contribution to the Newcastle and Hunter Region

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

On 29 November 2011, Mr Evan Longworth was awarded a service award by the Newcastle City Council for his outstanding contribution to emergency services and community organisations servicing the Hunter region. Evan has been a member of CREST NSW for some 30 years, has worked as the Newcastle Operations Director and is currently the NSW State Director.

The Newcastle CREST team with Mr Longworth

Mr Evan Longworth

The Newcastle Community Awards recognise outstanding effort and achievement by Newcastle individuals or community groups.

The City of Newcastle Service Award is awarded to individuals, organisations or groups for service to a specific field of activity. Community Awards show appreciation for the service, commitment, effort and achievements that make a difference to the lives of people in Newcastle.

Evan was joined by members of the Newcastle CREST team at a function to celebrate this achievement.

Newcastle Mayor John Tate presented Mr Longworth with the Service Award

Photographs courtesy Photolook Newcastle

CREST NSW celebrates 35 years

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Last night, CREST members past and present gathered with special guests at the Newcastle Diggers Club function rooms to celebrate 35 years of CREST NSW.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Cr John Tate opened the event by extending a welcome to all the visitors to the Newcastle area and told the audience of Newcastle council’s high regard of CREST and its value to the community.

Newcastle Mayor John Tate opens the CREST 35 year anniversary dinner

He reminded the audience of CREST’s work during the east coast storms that hit Newcastle in June 2007 which were best known for the grounding of the Pasha Bulker bulk carrier on Nobbys beach.

Some of the audience at the CREST 35 year anniversary

Senior Constable Tony Tamplin of the Newcastle Police Media Relations was the MC for the night. He told a very humorous story of his memories of drive-in theatres which unfortunately cannot be published here.

Cr Peter Blackmore, Mayor of Maitland City Council told of his memories of the early days of CB radio. Cr Blackmore was a member of CREST for a short time after being quite active in the CB radio scene.

Cr Peter Blackmore Mayor of Maitland NSW

MC for the night - Senior Constable Tony Tamplin

Russell Ashdown, Commissioner, NSW Volunteer Rescue Association and Audrey Koosemen, President of the Native Animal Trust Fund spoke of the work of CREST NSW and their active relationship with the organisation.

Russell Ashdown, Commissioner, NSW Volunteer Rescue Association

Audrey Koosemen, President of the Native Animal Trust Fund

Mike Hallinan, Former NSW State Director spoke of the early days of CREST NSW and Mr Greg Ackman of Mobile One Communications Systems and Patron of CREST NSW Inc helped out with fund raising by  drawing the raffle. There were a massive number of prizes donated by local and state wide businesses on offer.

Hot team at Glenrock

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Last weekend CREST members from Newcastle, Central Coast and Sydney provided safety communications for the Kathmandu Adventure Series event at Glenrock State Conservation Reserve near Newcastle NSW.

CREST team configuring a portable repeater

The weekend consisted of two separate identical events on each day. In parallel with the first day, CREST undertook a training exercise. The exercise focussed on the installation of a field communications network. CREST members set up a VHF repeater and VHF / UHF crossband system to cover the course.

During record high temperatures the team assisted by arranging two ambulances to transport patients attended to by the on-site paramedics.

New CREST webpage goes live

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

After many tireless hours from CREST’s webpage team, the new webpage went live today.

We have moved to a new open source content management system called WordPress which should prove easier for the entire CREST team to add their own stories.

The webpage team designed their own WordPress template for the CREST site.

If you have any feedback, please drop us a line via the contact page.