SES calling on you

From left: Phil Drew, Geoff Stott and Ken Breasley with 'Kobi' the dog. 169753_03 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Derek Schlennstedt

They manage all manner of emergencies and help keep our homes safe – and now they’re calling on you.
In the recent December storms Healesville SES gave away 300 sandbags to residents and was called to over 30 incidents; ranging from removing trees from roadways, to managing flood damage.
Like any volunteer organisation Healesville SES relies on its members and with accredited training, the capacity to help others and the opportunity to improve a range of skills, now is one of the best times to join the local unit.
Healesville SES Deputy Controller Monica Hayes encouraged people from all walks of life to join.
“Volunteers of all backgrounds are welcome including, men, women, tradespeople, professionals, mums, dads, retirees, tertiary students, and more,” she said.
Though in particular, Monica noted that the unit was in need of daytime responders.
“Daytime responders is always an issue and certainly something that we’re after … that can include people who work from home, mums and dads or even include people that don’t necessarily live in Healesville but work in Healesville.”
“Jobs are fairly short so it doesn’t mean a whole day away from work, just an hour ,and SES does have a program to support employers that allow their staff to turn out to emergency services.”
The unit covers areas surrounding Yarra Glen, Chum Creek, Badger Creek, Toolangi and Steels Creek.
As well as emergency response, SES volunteers engage with the community to help them prepare for disasters.
Volunteers receive accredited, recognised training as part of their role, which may include rescue skills, first aid, chainsaw operations, finance, navigation, or securing a roof in a storm.
Though Monica said that there was a role for everybody and that the staple image of a superman or woman attended a scene was an antiquated perspective.
“We can find a job for everybody,” she said.
“This image that you have to be superman or superwoman attending the scene of crash isn’t true and those responders to incidents are just as important as someone who is doing the radio communication.”
Monica encourages people who may have questions or queries to come along to the Healesville SES Monday meetings and training sessions located at 20 Argoon Road.
“Monday night is open to everyone to have a sit, meet everyone, you can see the formal meeting take place and get a better understanding about what we do.”
“Seeing our effect years later, it’s not just a one-time thing, you see the result it has on people, whether it’s removing a fallen tree or helping at an accident scene, people are so grateful for what we do.”
Maria encourages people who may have questions or queries to come along to the Healesville SES Monday meetings and training sessions located on Argoon Road.
“Monday night is open to everyone – so come along and say g’day, meet the crew and see what we do,” she said.