Lake Eppalock leads the way with emergency markers

Friday 15 June, 2018
Emergency marker at Castlemaine

Emergeny markers, similar to this one on the Castlemaine Maldon Trail, will be installed at Lake Eppalock.

A range of new emergency markers will be installed at Lake Eppalock in coming weeks – making it the first water body in Victoria to have a substantial number of emergency markers on hand.

The markers, organised via the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA), mean that in an emergency situation the 000 caller can quote a unique alphanumeric code made up of three letters and three numbers which appear on the emergency marker signage. The markers look like street signs with white text on a green background. 

“This code is linked to our database which helps to quickly specify the location, GPS coordinates, road access route or navigational data, all of which assists the speedy dispatch of emergency services,” ESTA Markers Manager Jeff Adair said.

“Many of the visitors to the lake may not know the roads they’ve used to visit, and in an emergency when asked for an address, this can delay the response,” Mr Adair said. 

“The markers provide a set of latitude and longitude data which is very specific to where they are installed, give or take an accuracy of 10 metres.”

The emergency markers are due to be installed at 26 locations around Lake Eppalock, including public boat ramps, commercial caravan park boat ramps, some foreshore areas near club sites and strategic perimeter locations. 

“These new markers around the perimeter of the lake will make a big difference to assist recreational boaters in the event of an emergency,” Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) Recreation and Land Operations Officer Chris Braden said.

“We expect these will be installed and ready for the 2018/19 summer season.” 

GMW Managing Director Pat Lennon said the new emergency markers will be an important addition to public safety and could potentially save lives.

“As the manager of 24 water storages across northern Victoria, GMW is also responsible for managing recreation on and around many of the storages, including public access, safety and education. 

“These markers will be a great addition at Eppalock for the safety of local residents and visitors to the lake,” Mr Lennon said.

The markers have been funded through the Victorian Government’s Boating Safety and Facilities Program and jointly initiated by Region 2 of the Country Fire Authority and GMW. 

ESTA has 2971 emergency marker locations identifiable to call-takers in its Computer-Aided Dispatch system. Victoria has 175 locations served by the marker program with efforts focused on a number of shared user trails and pathways.

More information about ESTA emergency markers can be found at https://www.esta.vic.gov.au/emergency-markers