SES showcase skills
MOCK RESCUE AT UNIVERSITY
A MOUNTED unit, an all-terrain utility vehicle and a zipline may have been a remarkable sight for passers-by at Murdoch University, but for the Melville State Emergency Service unit, it was all in a day’s work.
The training demonstration, held on campus last week, highlighted Wear Orange Wednesday, the SES’s contribution to National Volunteer Week.
Various units showcased their skills in a mock rescue, with the “casualty” played by a team member who was told to hide in the university.
The mounted section discovered the team member, she was retrieved using an all-terrain vehicle and then transferred to another location using the zip-line.
Melville SES Unit team leader Anthony Richards said the volunteers had been able to seamlessly combine their skills to conduct the rescue.
Mr Richards has been with his unit for 11 years, attending training every Tuesday along with at least 25 to 30 of their 50 active members.
Also a vertical-rescue team leader, Mr Richards said these skills were transferable to other situations that the SES faced, such as storm rescues.
Storm rescues and cars crashing into houses are the emergencies the SES most commonly handles in the metropolitan area.
Volunteers must complete several months of training before they can attend an incident, with Mr Richards saying the more effort a volunteer put in, the quicker they could get out on the road.
“SES members will get out what they put in,” he said.
“They’ll find they become a valued team member very quickly.”
Mr Richards joined the SES when he was looking for something extra to fill his spare time.
“I was looking for something to do in my personal life to give me that sense of satisfaction,” he said.
He believed other volunteers felt the same, with the SES attracting volunteers from a diverse age range, but all with the same desire to assist the community.
Mr Richards said the broad age spectrum of volunteers was a bonus, as it meant volunteers were available at different times when the unit was called on for assistance.
Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said Wear Orange Wednesday was an opportunity for people to honour the hard work and dedication of emergency services volunteers.
“As winter approaches, we will start seeing storms that can cause major damage,” he said.
“The community can be confident the SES will be there when there’s a call for help.”
Melville SES unit manager David Fyfe and team leader Anthony Richard and other volunteers held a training demonstration at Murdoch University last week.