WE NEED YOUR HELP

Queens­land SES helps our com­mu­ni­ties by re­spond­ing to emer­gency sit­u­a­tions. Now is your chance to help out, learn new skills and make life-long friend­ships.

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Jack Lawrie jack.lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

NORTH Bur­nett SES held a re­cruit­ment drive at Monto on Satur­day to drum up vol­un­teers for the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

At the time of the drive, Monto’s SES was in dire straits, with only four reg­u­lar vol­un­teers on hand.

Since then, two more have put their names down, which came as good news for group leader Roslyn Grif­fith.

“I was se­ri­ously think­ing about quit­ting be­cause I’m get­ting too old to do the phys­i­cally stren­u­ous ac­tiv­ity and we just didn’t have any­one else,” Mrs Grif­fith said.

Four is the bare min­i­mum an SES group needs to op­er­ate, but spe­cial­ist tasks are also re­quired, such as chain­saw op­er­a­tors, peo­ple to work from heights and res­cue boat driv­ers.

Coun­cil­lor Paul Lobegeier said com­pla­cency was be­com­ing a prob­lem.

It’s good for young peo­ple to be part of a vol­un­teer group; it helps them to work as a team and learn new skills. — SES lo­cal con­troller Brian Lowe

“The num­ber of SES in Monto has de­clined rapidly and there’s prob­a­bly sev­eral rea­sons for that,” Cr Lobegeier said.

“SES is asked to do many du­ties which the com­mu­nity don’t al­ways re­alise.”

Things aren’t as bad through­out the rest of the re­gion, though num­bers could al­ways im­prove.

North Bur­nett SES lo­cal con­troller Brian Lowe said it was im­por­tant to have re­serves on hand be­cause there was no pres­sure for peo­ple to at­tend ev­ery in­ci­dent.

“Dur­ing a work­ing week it’s harder to get peo­ple to come out, so the more the bet­ter,” Mr Lowe said.

“No­body has to ex­plain why they’re not avail­able be­cause we’re a vol­un­teer or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

Mr Lowe said that while there was a place for any­one in SES, they were par­tic­u­larly hop­ing to get more young peo­ple in­volved.

“It’s good for young peo­ple to be part of a vol­un­teer group; it helps them to work as a team and learn new skills,” he said.

“We’ll find some­thing for any­one to do; peo­ple who are in­ca­pac­i­tated can use ra­dios, peo­ple who are out on ac­ti­va­tion can be at the kitchen mak­ing up sand­wiches to send out.”

In the past, peo­ple have left the SES due to be­ing un­able to ded­i­cate time to the reg­u­lar train­ing re­quire­ments.

Ef­forts have been made to change that, with more up­keep train­ing be­ing achiev­able with home in­ter­ac­tive DVD cour­ses.

Mean­while, Mr Lowe said he wanted to work phys­i­cal train­ing into the group meet­ings by putting on games and chal­lenges.

“When we have ex­er­cises, we do things like Map Snap where two of us go out in the mid­dle of never-never and we give the co-or­di­nates to the rest of the teams and they have to find us,” he said.

“We do res­cue boat ex­er­cises where we go out to one of the dams and hide things for peo­ple to go out and find.”

Mrs Grif­fith said this way of do­ing train­ing made it more fun and solved the is­sue of peo­ple be­ing un­able to com­mit to SES.

If you can vol­un­teer email Brian Lowe at sescon­troller@north­bur­nett.qld.gov.au.

PHOTO:CON­TRIB­UTED

HELPINGG OU OUT: G Gayn­dahdh group ld leader Bren­dend H Har­risi and dd deputy J Ju­lianli Nott workk to tarp a lk leaky roof.f

PHOTO: JACK LAWRIE

UN­SUNG HE­ROES: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from North Bur­nett SES gath­ered in Monto to raise aware­ness of the need for more vol­un­teers.

PHOTO: JACK LAWRIE

Monto SES leader Ros Grif­fith says the branch needs vol­un­teers in or­der to sur­vive.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Bren­den Har­ris and Ju­lian Nott from Gayn­dah and Rob Mor­ton from Mun­dub­bera were called out to Gin Gin as they did not have any Work­ing with Heights vol­un­teers.

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