Melville SES Unit on the lookout for new volunteers following stormy winter

Melville State Emergency Service Unit manager Andrew Treen, deputy manager of operations Anthony Richards, volunteer David Bulfield and training manager Greg Hewitt at the organisation’s base. Picture: Aaron Corlett.
Melville State Emergency Service Unit manager Andrew Treen, deputy manager of operations Anthony Richards, volunteer David Bulfield and training manager Greg Hewitt at the organisation’s base. Picture: Aaron Corlett.

IT has been one of the busiest winters in recent years for the Melville State Emergency Service (SES) Unit, so they are on the hunt for new volunteers.

Unit manager Andrew Treen said during natural events such as the hailstorm in Perth during 2010, they saw interest increase in the SES.

“It’s been fairly quiet during the past few years but this year there has been lots of jobs particularly in the last four months,” he said.

“You might see 15 in one night or during a quiet week there might not be any jobs.

“In the past three months, I think we’ve had about three callouts per week but that goes up and down.

“The big thing at the moment is fatigue management as lots of us have day jobs and so we need to expand.”

Mr Treen said people from all types of fields, from lawyers to surveyors, inquired but it was generally people who wanted to give something back to the community.

“We have a core group of about 40 people at the moment,” he said.

“People who volunteer here are able to gain a set of skills including operating a chainsaw, helping with storm damage or helping run operations at our base.”

Mr Treen said the majority of calls related to “water ingress” into houses, normally through cracked tiles or blocked gutters.

“The biggest thing people need to do is to check their gutters and downpipes during a fine day,” he said.

“It’s also important to tie secure items and tie down trampolines because it can end up on your neighbour’s roof.”

People interested in volunteering can contact 1800 628 141 or volunteering@dfes.wa.gov.au.