Volunteer numbers low at SES
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.