Local paramedics offered training at Macarthur Wind Farm

The Macarthur Wind Farm, currently being built by AGL and Meridian Energy, is set to host free training for local paramedics to ensure they can work at heights and deal with the challenges and emergency events should they be encountered at the wind farm. Vestas Australian Wind Technology P/L (Vestas) and Safety BA6 will train local paramedics and project staff in the Working at Heights, Vertical Rescue and Confined Spaces module on Tuesday, 13 March 2012.

Vestas and Safety BA6 have volunteered $2,400 for the paramedics' training to ensure local emergency services staff are familiar with wind turbine operations and to deploy best practice occupational health and safety conduct for the site and regional community.

As part of the training, participants will be drilled to prepare for procedures in the event of an emergency, including simulating the process of lowering personnel from around 100 metres, from the top of a wind turbine, from a small crane, as well provide protocols for on-ground and theoretical training.

Peter Martin, Vestas Health Safety Environment Community Manager for the Macarthur Wind Farm said: "The average wind turbine at Macarthur will require periods of time maintaining its operations in any given month, so it is prudent to ensure site staff and local paramedics are trained in the logistical details of how to enter and recover someone from a wind turbine."

"The training will also prepare paramedics for cross-operational functions, such as working at heights in wheat silos," he said.

Project Manager for the wind farm, AGL's Jeff Trompf, said: "Safety is our highest priority at AGL and we are pleased that, thanks to Vestas and Safety BA6, the community can share in the benefits of this training."

Vestas has also donated $2,500 to the Southern Region Ambulance Service for the purchase of Whisperflow oxygen equipment, which assists paramedics in delivering patient care whilst in the ambulance. Darren Hick from the Hamilton Branch of Ambulance Victoria will be presented with the equipment onsite on Tuesday.

Upon completion, the Macarthur Wind Farm will be the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere, and one of the world's largest. The 140 wind turbines will produce enough renewable energy to power more than 220,000 average Victorian homes, and will create ongoing employment for about 30 full time staff for 25 years following construction.

The 420 MW Macarthur Wind Farm is funded by a 50/50 joint venture between AGL and Meridian Energy, comprising a total capital cost of $1 billion. Vestas is the turbine contractor.

Photo Opportunity:

From 9:30 - 10:30am on Tuesday, 13 March 2012.

Media are asked to meet at the Main Office, Macarthur Wind Farm, Macarthur Hawksdale road (corner of Gerrigerrup road), Macarthur, and ask for Andrew Monaghan to be escorted to the training session.

  • Four paramedics and 10 Vestas personnel undertaking Working at Heights, Vertical Rescue and Confined Spaces training module, including a human dummy being suspended over 100 metres into the air, and then replaced with a human upon ground contact and transferred to a stretcher.
  • The Vestas V112 3MW turbine, the only wind turbine that will be used at the Macarthur Wind Farm.
  • Darren Hick from the Hamilton Branch of Ambulance Victoria receiving Whisperflow Oxygen equipment from Peter Martin, Vestas Health Safety Environment Community Manager for the Macarthur Wind Farm.
  • Please RSVP your attendance to Nicole Rizgalla, AGL Media Advisor, email: nrizgalla@agl.com.au or mobile: 0400 488 836.

About AGL

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated renewable energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.