SES members take long view
HEATHCOTE SES members received long service awards in Bendigo on September 8.
Six members from the local group received five, 10 and 30 years’ service recognition to the Heathcote area.
Through floods, storms, road accidents and rescues, they’ve been one part of the committed emergency services in town.
Steve Johnson, one of the founding members of the group, was recognised for 30 years of service.
He said throughout his time in the SES, he’s seen a lot of changes for the better.
“When we started we towed a trailer with a crowbar, stretcher, hand-operated hydraulic tools and towed it with our personal cars,” he said.
The group was then able to purchase the jaws of life after a road accident accreditation and upgraded their communication equipment.
When it comes to a pinch, the group knows exactly what to do. Steve said with more recent road safety campaigns there has been a decrease in calls to road accidents.
“With the fatigue campaigns and safety barriers we’ve gone from about one accident a week to one every few months,” he said.
Steve said along with technological advances, the Heathcote SES has gone from strength to strength.
“Members are on the increase. Before we became the SES, we had about 30 members and then dipped to 10 after that,” he said.
“But now we have about 20 members who are quite active. It’s a good group and there’s a good social side.
“A lot of our members stick around. They’ve been trained and are accredited so they stay.”
Heathcote SES long service award recipients — Steve Kern (five years), Daniel Dumigan (five), Linda Le Busque (10), Steve Johnson (30), Marc Pitt (10) and Peter Zenz (five).