There’s an orange army of State Emergency Service volunteers across the Moreton Bay Region providing a beacon of hope to residents when disaster strikes.
Floods and storms in the early part of 2022 certainly tested their mettle, with thousands of calls for help.
Moreton Bay Region SES controller Sean Harrop says that in the first six months of the year the service responded to about 3000 requests for assistance.
“It’s obviously been a crazy year and it was at the end of last year as well,” he says.
“That was approximately 2400 (calls) with the floods and a further 600 with the rain event…and every week we’ve had at least a dozen tasks relating to the rain or missing persons searches, things like that.”
The region’s blessed with more than 250 volunteers, who gave more than 3000 hours of service between January and June – not including attending training sessions, turning up to community education events and other activities.
Redcliffe SES volunteer Graham Davis says an educational display at Bunnings Rothwell in October was well received, with a new La Nina expected to bring heavy rain and storms over the next few months.
“The volunteers handed out hundreds of the Moreton Bay Regional Council's ‘Get Ready Moreton Bay’ guides along with copies of ‘Preparing an emergency kit’ and ‘See Yourself in Orange’ - a recruitment brochure,” Graham says.
Sean says the sight of an SES volunteer in their orange uniform is a relief to many in a time of crisis and the organisation provides world-class training for those who join.
He says understanding local risks is the key to navigating storm and bushfire seasons.
“We want residents to be prepared because the best outcome for them and us is that they don’t actually need our help,” Sean says.
“I strongly suggest that all residents sign up for MoretonAlert.
“Sometimes we’re so involved in what’s happening in our lives we don’t realise severe weather is coming.
“They (the alerts) were extra helpful earlier this year.”
MoretonAlert is a free SMS, email and voice alert system that delivers warnings about severe weather, bushfires, council burn notifications and potential flash-flooding.
About the SES
The Queensland State Emergency Service has more than 5000 active unpaid members, who are on standby to respond to local, state and national disasters and emergencies.
The volunteers provide assistance for non-life threatening emergency situations during floods, storms and other similar events.
They also support agencies such as the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Fire and Rescue Service to deal with different types of disasters and emergencies including vertical rescue, flood boat rescue, road crash rescue, urban, rural and evacuation searches, emergency traffic management, urban search and rescue and community education.
There’s a variety of roles for volunteers within the SES and while many require a level of physical fitness for those involved in rescues and responding to natural disasters, there are also less physical support roles.
Head to the website for more information.
On the eve of the seventh Cameron Smith Junior Classic, we take a look at the remarkable successes - in Australia and overseas - of past CSJC winners. ** FREE TO READ **
Andy Almond only took up running at the age of 46, but in just a few short years he’s taking on the biggest challenge of his life – running for 18 hours in honour of a young man who lost his life at the start of this year. Find out more... **FREE TO READ**
Print community news is returning to the Redcliffe Peninsula, with the launch of the monthly magazine – The Redcliffe Peninsula. It’s out this week