Orange marks vol­un­teer support

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

The Kar­ratha State Emer­gency Ser­vice Unit is en­cour­ag­ing res­i­dents to dress up to­day in its trade­mark shade of orange in cel­e­bra­tion of lo­cal vol­un­teers.

To­day is Wear Orange Wed­nes­day, an SES aware­ness day held dur­ing Na­tional Vol­un­teer Week that en­cour­ages peo­ple to wear the colour to ac­knowl­edge the im­por­tance of vol­un­teer­ing in the com­mu­nity.

Kar­ratha SES Unit vol­un­teer and WOW or­gan­iser Barry Har­ri­son said vol­un­teers were par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in re­gional towns such as Kar­ratha be­cause they ded­i­cated their spare time to per­form­ing vi­tal ser­vices that would not be pro­vided any other way.

“They support their lo­cal com­mu­nity be­cause there’s no Gov­ern­ment-funded com­mit­ment to those ser­vices, so with­out the vol­un­teers, a lot of things wouldn’t hap­pen,” he said.

“Peo­ple take emer­gency ser­vices for granted. They come from Perth and all of a sud­den ev­ery­one in those emer­gency ser­vices, ex­cept the po­lice, are vol­un­teers.

“It’s vol­un­teer SES, vol­un­teer ma­rine rescue, vol­un­teer firies, and a lot of vol­un­teer am­bu­lance of­fi­cers.

“We’re quite blessed that peo­ple have ac­tu­ally com­mit­ted to give their time for the vol­un­teer ser­vices.”

Kar­ratha SES Unit vol­un­teer Matt Bager said the fact few peo­ple wore orange ev­ery day made it an ideal colour for an aware­ness cam­paign.

There are 44 qual­i­fied vol­un­teers in the Kar­ratha SES Unit trained to re­spond to emer­gency and dis­as­ter sit­u­a­tions from cy­clones and floods to land searches.

Other SES units in the Pil­bara in­clude Roe­bourne, Tom Price, Ex­mouth, Hed­land and New­man.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to sign up as a vol­un­teer with the Kar­ratha SES, visit the head­quar­ters at 14 Bal­moral Road dur­ing train­ing at 7pm on Mon­days.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Kar­ratha SES Unit vol­un­teers Barry Har­ri­son, Matt Bager, Cristy O’Keefe and Kayla O’Keefe.

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