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Coates sets up emergency camps in COVID-stricken Wilcannia

Coates sets up emergency camps in COVID-stricken Wilcannia

With 10 years’ experience working with the NSW Rural Fire Service, Coates is adept at delivering temporary infrastructure at scale and at speed to assist communities in distress.

During early September, the equipment hire company played a key role in helping the RFS establish two emergency response camps in Wilcannia, the far western NSW town whose 60% Indigenous population has been hard-hit by COVID-19.

In just 72 hours, the Coates team built two powered camps with supporting infrastructure: an RFS base camp for frontline staff from various agencies and a NSW Health camp for members of the community to safely isolate.

“Whether it be for fires, floods and now pandemics, we’re here 24/7 to provide our services when the RFS call,” said Jarrad Whitby, Regional Manager at Coates, who led the team.

Wilcannia’s remote location, coupled with the size of the brief, meant Coates had to pull resources from its branch network across the state to meet the tight deadline.

“We leant on our vast network of branches, from Moree to the north, down to Canberra in the south and our Sydney specialist equipment hubs in the east, to ensure we came together as one team to deliver for our client – within 72 hours,” said Jarrad.

At the RFS base camp at the showground, Coates delivered power, lighting and AC; storage, sanitation and shower solutions, including daily removal of waste and daily delivery of water; temporary fencing for perimeter site security; materials handling and fuel solutions; and temporary mess hall facilities including large cool rooms, freezers, containers and televisions. 

At the NSW Health Camp at Victory Park Caravan Park, Coates delivered power and lighting; temporary site accommodation and toilets; traffic management such as temporary fencing and crowd control barriers; security solutions including portable boom gates and CCTV services; cool rooms, freezers and dry store containers; fuel solutions; and IT solutions including networks, laptops and printers.

Jarrad highlighted the operational support provided by the Coates team, which ensured the smooth planning, construction and running of each base.

“One of our Major Projects Managers was on site project managing from day one,” Jarrad said. “Both sites also have a 24/7 mechanic based in Wilcannia to provide any necessary back up to all our plant and equipment.”

For equipment hire for your next event, call Coates on 13 15 52 or visit