Wollongong and Dapto SES crew members are used to using their abseiling skills to save lives.
But on Sunday morning, 12 volunteers used their vertical rescue skills to save the environment.
The members hauled up more than 12 bags of rubbish from over the escarpment at Bulli Tops, near Panorama House, as part of Clean Up Australia Day.
Wollongong SES deputy unit commander Edward Forbes said three members abseiled over and down the cliff and collected rubbish.
"They went around the ground and cleaned up the area while the other volunteers hauled up the rubbish bags, which were provided by the Clean Up Australia Day organisation," he said.
"The bags will be collected by Wollongong Council.
"We usually use our skills to save lives but on Sunday we used them for a different purpose to help the community. It wasn't really a challenge but was good to adapt our training and helps develop our experience."
Mr Forbes said the members primarily collected bottles and cans that were likely tossed from cars travelling along the motorway.
He said it was difficult to collect small pieces of confetti that may have come from people celebrating events at Panorama House.
Mr Forbes said the crews had offered their services during Clean Up Australia Day for the past three years at Kelly Falls and Bulli Tops and this year National Parks and Wildlife Service again needed the Bulli Tops area cleaned.
"They don't have the operators available to do the clean up over the cliff as easily as we do." he said.
Wollongong SES deputy unit commander Menno Schaaf said their team was the busiest vertical rescue unit across the state, so it was important to be prepared as they often had to rescue people or animals trapped at heights and depths in often challenging environments.
Volunteers performed several vertical rescues last year including at Sublime Point and Flagstaff Hill in August, Otford in September and Stanwell Park in December.
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