The local SES unit are experiencing an increase in demand for their services and are calling on more volunteers to help them out.
Team leader Gary Bates said 30 volunteers from the Swan SES cover an area that spans as far north as Bullsbrook and as far south as Guildford, and are required to respond to a variety of natural disasters and emergencies.
‘We’re involved in search and rescue operations, repair houses and buildings which have been affected by natural disasters and perform rescue operations,’ he said.
‘Last year, we were involved in one of our busiest bushfire seasons with the Avon Valley fire ” that one was huge ” we were out there for a couple of days and set up a communications base and helped run the firies around.’
Mr Bates decided to join the Swan SES four years ago after a tree fell on his house during a storm that swept through Ellenbrook and caused extensive damage.
‘That weekend the SES attended 90 jobs alone and after that I wanted to help out, so I joined.
‘Now I’m a team leader and am involved in the training of new recruits.’
Mr Bates said SES volunteers were involved in new training initiatives each week, which recently included air search and rescue observations.
‘Each time we get a call out we never know what it will be about,’ he said.
No previous experience or qualifications was required to join the SES. Full training is given, which provides all volunteers with new skills.