In­surer do­nates $600k to SES

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page -

Be­nalla SES will re­ceive a share of more than $600 000 thanks to a gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tion by in­surer, AAMI.

In the past year, the VICSES Be­nalla Unit re­sponded to 227 calls for as­sis­tance.

The ma­jor­ity were for storm­re­lated dam­age, with vol­un­teers re­spond­ing 136 times.

VICSES Be­nalla Unit Con­troller Brett Tay­lor Parkins said the part­ner­ship was im­por­tant.

‘‘AAMI has been a fan­tas­tic part­ner for us over the years,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s re­ally ter­rific to have them back­ing our vol­un­teers, so we can sup­port the Be­nalla com­mu­nity.

‘‘We can’t thank them enough for their valu­able con­tri­bu­tion. Their sup­port al­lows our vol­un­teers to have ac­cess to the best train­ing and equip­ment to sup­port the Be­nalla com­mu­nity be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter an emer­gency.’’

Tools and equip­ment pur­chased through the pro­gram are used to as­sist in var­i­ous types of storm-re­lated dam­age, such as re­moval of fallen trees and work­ing on homes im­pacted by se­vere weather.

This year’s fund­ing has been used to pur­chase nearly 2000 pieces of equip­ment that will help SES vol­un­teers, who work tire­lessly to sup­port the Be­nalla com­mu­nity, when a storm hits.

This year the equip­ment pur­chased by VICSES in­cludes: hy­draulic res­cue tools; power tools; gen­er­a­tors; chain­saws; and re­mote-area light­ing. AAMI has been VICSES’ Prin­ci­pal Com­mu­nity Part­ner since 2002 and dur­ing that time it has con­trib­uted al­most eight mil­lion dol­lars to sup­port VICSES vol­un­teers.

AAMI also plays a key role in sup­port­ing VICSES’ com­mu­nity aware­ness cam­paigns, such as 15 to float.

That cam­paign is about flood safety and is de­signed to raise aware­ness of the dan­gers when driv­ing through flood­wa­ter.

All it takes is 15cm of wa­ter for a car to lose trac­tion.

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