7 April 2023

On the frontline, or behind the scenes, Eurobodalla SES shouts out for recruits

| Katrina Condie
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SES with fallen tree

SES volunteers on storm clean-up duty. Photo: Batemans Bay and Moruya SES.

From chainsaw operators to logistics, there’s a role for everyone within the Batemans Bay and Moruya State Emergency Service (SES) units.

The call has gone out for Eurobodalla residents to consider joining the service and they can find out what all the fuss is about when an open day is held at the Moruya headquarters on 22 April between 10 am and 2 pm.

Eurobodalla Commander Mike Day says NSW has just come out of one of its busiest operational periods ever recorded.

“Persistent rain events throughout the state in the previous couple of years resulted in volunteers from both units being deployed to Wagga Wagga, Menindee, Moree, Wentworth and Broken Hill,” he said.

“Volunteering to help out other units in other parts of the state is very rewarding and a great way to meet people.”

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The Batemans Bay and Moruya units have about 55 volunteer members, but Mike says they’re “always searching for more”.

“SES has many different roles, including some that people don’t often see in addition to the volunteers people would see who are out and about when weather results in calls for assistance,” he said.

Behind-the-scenes roles include training, logistics, leadership and command.

“We’re looking for new volunteers for all of these different roles, to boost our capability and lend a hand to volunteers who are already doing some of these roles,” Mike explained.

SES at damaged house

SES volunteers receive specialised training to help the community during severe weather events. Photo: Batemans Bay and Moruya SES.

“Volunteers in the NSW SES have the opportunity to learn new skills and complete nationally recognised training that can assist with their current work, or can be transferred to other SES units around the state.

“We have members who have joined with other SES units in NSW, and some who have moved out of the Eurobodalla for work and transferred their membership.”

Moruya Unit Commander Simon Hill says meeting new people is a fantastic benefit of SES membership.

“SES units can be like families – we’re more like friends than SES colleagues,” he said.

“We’re there to help each other, share skills and knowledge, and enjoy the complete experience together.”

Batemans Bay Unit Commander Kevin Shepherd says the two Eurobodalla units play a large part in helping the local community during severe flood and storm events.

“We are also accredited for road crash rescue, and Moruya holds an accreditation for vertical rescue,” he said.

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“We don’t expect everyone to do everything, and we do recognise that some of these types of jobs are not for everyone. You can choose what you want to do!”

Volunteers train on Tuesday evenings from 6 o’clock in Moruya and Batemans Bay.

Mike said both units had separate training calendars to cater to their different needs, but they did frequently train together to meet new people and get to know the members they would be working with during severe weather events.

“During the open day, there will be opportunities to informally chat to current volunteers about all facets of SES membership, see what we do and have a look at our vehicles and boats,” he said.

There is more information about volunteering on the SES website, including some of the various roles available.

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