Moreton Bay Region SES is looking for 100 more volunteers to join its ranks, with the after-effects of COVID-19 depleting its ranks.
Moreton Bay Region SES Controller Sean Harrop says many people’s circumstances changed during the pandemic and more help is now needed to bolster the team.
The next round of recruitment starts with information sessions in January. The sessions will give potential volunteers an idea of what the role entails and what would be required of them.
If they’re keen, they can then sign up. Training will begin in mid to late February, after criminal and blue card checks have been completed.
Volunteer information sessions:
Bribie Island – January 11
Deception Bay – January 18
Petrie – January 19
Caboolture – January 21
Arana Hills – January 24
Redcliffe – February 1
What you should join
Sean, who started his career with the SES as a volunteer, says there are many reasons why being a SES volunteer is so rewarding.
“Not only do you get to help people, you get to learn new skills and meet new people,” he says.
“Most people in their lives only meet people who are similar to them … the great thing about SES is that people come from all walks of life.
“Members come because they want to help people but they stay because of their fellow members.”
Petrie Group volunteer Graham Burgoyne has been with the SES for the past 15 years.
“He is one of our long-serving members. When a member does more than five years, they’re (usually) with us for life,” Sean says.
Graham looks after logistics and equipment and is highly skilled in chainsaw and working at heights.
Sean says he also mentors new members.
“There are a lot of things that have to happen in the background, maintaining equipment. He just gets in and gets it done. He’s always willing to help,” Sean says.
He says Moreton Bay SES members are feeling good and are now in a training break for six weeks over summer. They are ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at the region.
About 60 new members joined the SES across the region in 2022.
An easing of COVID-19 restrictions this year has made it easier to run the usual training program.
“They’re in good spirits and ready to help those in need,” Sean says.
What is the SES looking for?
“Anyone who has time and is willing to help others. A good mix (of ages and experience) is good. It means we always have people available to help,” Sean says.
“It can be a fun and enjoyable experience.”
Anyone interested in finding out more should head to the Moreton Bay Regional Council website and register their interest. From there, they can complete a form for more information.
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