How does our Rescue Line work? by Carolyn Martin


The Sydney Wildlife rescue line is the nerve centre of our organisation.  It is the place where members of the public turn to when they need immediate help – an injured possum in their shed, a snake in their kitchen, a bird lying helpless on their verandah.  And we are there with a listening ear and the means to assist in solving their problems.

Sydney Wildlife has been in existence for 24 years, and I have been involved with the rescue line for fifteen of those years and have seen big changes, most of them in the past year.  If you had told me that within three weeks our office doors would close, paper record forms gone and we would be operating remotely I would not have believed it possible, but this is exactly what happened in March last year – a direct result of the Covid Pandemic. 

Outside the office in Lane Cove National Park

Our member Paula Granelli took up the challenge and found and adapted an online system, Trello that meets our needs well.  She also set up a phone diversion platform that can be programmed with multiple phone numbers each day and an online information platform, Weebly, that contains links to the tools we use such as the Batchgeo maps, animal information etc.

I have heard it said that Covid has changed things and not all of them for the worse and this is certainly the case for Sydney Wildlife.  Over the last year I have received over one hundred calls from people wanting to help, to do something useful and positive in their lives.  Most of them were unable to care for wildlife but were keen to learn how to help on the rescue line.  Many had found themselves restricted and at home and of course, the beauty of the online system is that this is exactly where you can be.  

Using the training tutorials in Weebly and following up with one on one phone training sessions, many of these people took up the challenge.  Some have continued and are doing regular shifts, others fill in when they can to suit busy schedules and many have moved on, but we now have a dedicated group of operators who form the amazing team who answer our phones, both from the office in Lane Cove National Park and from their home computers.

If you would like to help on our rescue line please call 9413 4300 and I will call you back.