Selfless emergency services volunteers have toiled for more than 180,000 hours in a bid to save lives and property during recent flooding in Western NSW.
They include 450 NSW State Emergency Service volunteers.
The state government reports that the 180,000 hours equate to $10 million worth of “outstanding community service”.
The volunteers have responded to more than 4200 requests for help and performed 130 flood rescues since August 30.
Flooding resulted from the third wettest winter and wettest September on record, according to the state government.
Natural disaster declarations currently apply to 28 local government areas, activating financial support for affected communities.
Emergency resources are focused on communities surrounding the Lachlan, Murray, Murrumbidgee, and Macquarie rivers.
The prolonged flooding has led to crop and infrastructure damage, disruptions along major transport routes including the Newell Highway and Lachlan Valley Way, and significant isolation of rural properties and communities along the Murray, Murrumbidgee, Lachlan and Macquarie river valleys.
Former police deputy commissioner Dave Owens has been appointed regional recovery co-ordinator.
NSW Deputy Premier, Minister for Justice and Police and Member for Dubbo Troy Grant and Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott released the data when praising the volunteers.
“I saw the sheer scale of damage caused by floods in Forbes in recent weeks and the amazing work of our volunteers there,” Mr Grant said.
“They all deserve our utmost admiration for volunteering to assist communities in times of extreme hardship and sacrificing time with their families or at their jobs.
“The recovery and rebuilding process would not be possible without the tireless work of our emergency services volunteers.
“They deserve the entire state’s gratitude.”
Mr Elliot said it had been a “very busy winter and spring” for volunteers.
“We thank them for continuing to selflessly put the needs of their community ahead of their own,” he said.
“This has been a prolonged flood and I want to assure communities that we will continue to support your recovery, no matter how long it takes.”