SES show­case skills


Cockburn Gazette - - OPINION -

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.”

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek­mu­ni­ d453613

Melville SES unit man­ager David Fyfe and team leader An­thony Richard and other vol­un­teers held a train­ing demon­stra­tion at Mur­doch Univer­sity last week.

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