Award recog­nises decades of ser­vice

Pilbara News - - News - Peter de Krui­jff

■ A cou­ple of long-term State Emer­gency Ser­vice vol­un­teers from Kar­ratha have been recog­nised for their com­bined 40 years of ser­vice.

Kath Swet­man was awarded a na­tional ser­vice medal for her 15 years, and Bob Hunter got a clasp sig­ni­fy­ing 10 years since re­ceiv­ing his own na­tional medal. The pair were recog­nised at the Kar­ratha emer­gency ser­vice an­nual awards at the RSL last month.

Mrs Swet­man has been a mem­ber of the SES since 1998, is a qual­i­fied team leader for road crash res­cues and has been a res­cue of­fi­cer.

She said she orig­i­nally joined be­cause her hus­band Terry had started volunteering at the unit and was “hav­ing too much fun”.

“The rea­son I’ve stayed in it so long is be­cause of all the good out­comes we’ve had, we’ve had more good than bad,” Mrs Swet­man said.

“It’s a good feel­ing when you know you can help some­one and get a good out­come.”

One in­stance that stood out to Mrs Swet­man was a crash where a mother was dis­tressed as to what was hap­pen­ing to her son who was still trapped in the car.

Mrs Swet­man con­soled the woman let­ting her know he only had a bro­ken leg and would be freed and put in an am­bu­lance soon.

“The guy that was in the car ended up join­ing the SES a few years af­ter,” Mrs Swet­man said.

Mr Hunter has been with Kar­ratha SES since 1988 as an ac­tive gen­eral mem­ber.

He has been a res­cue of­fi­cer, train­ing man­ager, and has been a suc­cess­ful vol­un­teer trainer at the unit teach­ing ver­ti­cal res­cue, storm dam­age, and emer­gency re­sponse driv­ing.

Mrs Swet­man said Mr Hunter was quiet and com­mu­nity-ori­en­tated and al­ways took the young SES mem­bers un­der his arm to teach them a few old tricks.

Both vol­un­teers re­ceived their medals sur­rounded by their peers, rep­re­sented by the Kar­ratha SES, Dampier Vol­un­teer Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice, Kar­ratha VFRS, the Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vice and the Kar­ratha Po­lice.

Pic­ture: Nathan Her­holdt

Kath and Terry Swet­man.

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