Call for more to share SES load

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News -

MANJIMUP’S SES re­sponse times could suf­fer if the num­ber of ac­tive vol­un­teers con­tin­ues to de­cline, ac­cord­ing to SES man­ager Michael Mackay-Blair.

With the num­ber of ac­tive vol­un­teers down from 25 in pre­vi­ous years to just six, Mr Mack­ayBlair said he had needed to call in Bridgetown back-up for two of the last three call-outs.

Mr Mackay-Blair said while it was not yet “des­per­ate”, a fur­ther re­duc­tion of man power could see him “se­ri­ously scream­ing for help.”

“We’re not go­ing to lose re­sponse ca­pa­bil­ity, it’s only go­ing to slow down our re­sponse,” he said.

“If we went down below five we’d be se­ri­ously ham­pered in a storm sea­son to be able to deal with four or five in­ci­dents in a timely fash­ion. “We need to be able to put peo­ple up on roofs.” Manjimup SES ser­vices most of the shire and Mr Mackay-Blair said more vol­un­teers, es­pe­cially those ca­pa­ble of work­ing at heights, would not only im­prove their re­sponse time dur­ing storms but also their ca­pac­ity to help with searches and ver­ti­cal res­cue op­er­a­tions.

Mr Mackay-Blair urged keen vol­un­teers to at­tend a Mon­day train­ing ses­sion from 6.30pm at the co-lo­cated SES and Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice build­ing for more in­for­ma­tion.

Pic­ture: Shan­non Boch­enek

Manjimup SES vol­un­teer and DFES district of­fi­cer Leon Gar­diner, cen­tre, with fel­low vol­un­teers Donna Virgo, Kira Robert­son, Brian Rene­han and deputy lo­cal man­ager Graham Pearce, top right.

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