SES Week prompts call for peo­ple to join lo­cal groups

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Monique Pre­ston monique.pre­ston @whit­sun­day­times.com.au

STATE Emer­gency Ser­vices groups in the Whit­sun­days are look­ing to re­cruit new mem­bers this week as the coun­try cel­e­brates SES Week.

Whit­sun­day SES lo­cal con­troller Mark Con­nors said more mem­bers were needed in the three lo­cal SES groups – Air­lie Beach, Proser­pine and Glouces­ter, which takes in Dingo Beach and Hy­de­away Bay.

Mr Con­nors hopes SES Week, which runs un­til Sun­day, will en­cour­age peo­ple to think about vol­un­teer­ing.

He said the lo­cal groups were not look­ing for huge num­bers of new vol­un­teers, but would like add a few to their ranks of 30 ac­tive vol­un­teers at the mo­ment.

“If we could pick up an­other 10 or 15 mem­bers, that would be fine,” Mr Con­nors said.

He said all vol­un­teers with the SES needed to do reg­u­lar train­ing to main­tain their skills, how­ever, Whit­sun­day SES had made some changes to the way it does some of its train­ing to be able to be more ac­ces­si­ble.

While weekly train­ing ses­sions are still held, peo­ple can now also opt to do their train­ing in “block week­ends”, where they can do the train­ing in short, but com­pre­hen­sive, pe­ri­ods.

In the Whit­sun­days, SES vol­un­teers can be called on to do any­thing from re­spond­ing to storms and cy­clones to search­ing for miss­ing peo­ple.

“It’s very sat­is­fy­ing help­ing peo­ple,” Mr Con­nors said.

“I’ve known peo­ple who felt their ser­vice gave pur­pose to their life.

“It’s not a huge bur­den. They’re not be­ing called out ev­ery week like po­lice, fire bri­gade and am­bu­lance.”

Whit­sun­day SES will have a stand at the Whit­sun­day Shop­ping Plaza in Can­non­vale on Satur­day from 9am un­til 1pm, with mem­bers avail­able to talk about what SES vol­un­teers do and to an­swer any ques­tions from prospec­tive mem­bers.

Mem­bers can also visit the SES rooms in Sch­nap­per St, Can­non­vale, or 45 Hin­schen St, Proser­pine on Tues­day from 7.30pm for an in­for­ma­tion night.

They can also phone Mr Con­nors on 0409 572 154 for in­for­ma­tion.

❝sat­is­fy­ing It’s very help­ing peo­ple. — Mark Con­nors

PHOTO: MONIQUE PRE­STON

HELP NEEDED: Whit­sun­day SES lo­cal con­troller Mark Con­nors is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to join the SES as vol­un­teers.

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