Vol­un­teer num­bers low at SES

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - Sam Gibbs

Har­vey’s State Emer­gency Ser­vice­u­nit is dan­ger­ously low on num­bers and is call­ing on any­one and ev­ery­one with an in­ter­est in vol­un­teer­ing to get in­volved.

Har­vey SES deputy lo­cal man­ager Todd Ver­rall has been with the branch for 30 years and said the group was stretched thin.

“That’s the plight of the Har­vey SES, we need more vol­un­teers,” Mr Ver­rall said.

“We’re at the nitty-gritty end of num­bers ... cur­rently we have about seven or eight ac­tive mem­bers.”

Mr Ver­rall said the branch had about 30 ac­tive mem­bers in the early 2000s and was hop­ing to get num­bers back to those lev­els.

Back in its hey­day, Mr Ver­rall said vol­un­teers would have to fight for spots when a job came in.

“Dur­ing the week days it’s hard to get a team to­gether be­cause peo- ple are at work,” Mr Ver­rall said.

“Our prob­lem at the mo­ment is not get­ting a team in the field dur­ing road in­ci­dents.”

Mr Ver­rall said road res­cue was an ex­tra role the branch had taken on, help­ing the Har­vey, Brunswick and Wa­roona fire brigades.

He said the branch was hop­ing to bring in vol­un­teers who were avail­able dur­ing week days but they were not be­ing “picky” and any­one was en­cour­aged to get in­volved.

“Only put in what you can, we don’t need 150 hours a week,” he said.

Mr Ver­rall joined Har­vey SES when he was 18 years old and has not looked back.

“It’s a chance to give back to the com­mu­nity,” he said.

“You learn new life skills about safety ideas, ty­ing knots, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and map read­ing.

“You get a warm and fuzzy feel­ing when you do the right thing.”

To get in­volved with the Har­vey SES, call Todd Ver­rall on 0419 291 813.

At the other end of the scale, Mur­ray SES is in good shape hav­ing picked up vol­un­teers from Wa­roona, with the po­ten­tial for more.

With the Wa­roona SES no longer in op­er­a­tion, Mur­ray SES deputy man­ager Paul Dwyer said his unit re­sponds to in­ci­dents through­out the re­gion.

Mr Dwyer said num­bers were good in Pin­jarra but were lack­ing in the north east area of the Shire of Mur­ray, around Dwellingup and Dan­dalup, with 22 mem­bers in to­tal for the unit.

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