A TEAM of about 20 volunteers have joined the fledgling Two Rocks State Emergency Service unit, preparing to help in rescue situations.
Local manager Max Ross said discussions about setting up another unit had started about five years ago, with Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) district officer Graham Sears steering the project.
Mr Ross said about 30 people showed interest in joining an SES unit when they had stalls at the Yanchep Monthly Markets, which led to 10 foundation members starting the unit.
He said the unit, gazetted in February, now had 20 members who meet at the Two Rocks Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade station.
“We are up and running,” he said.
“We’ve had some amazing donations of equipment.
“Our fellow SES units in the region have been just marvellous.”
Mr Ross said businesses such as Downer and Ertech had offered equipment and services, while other units had provided office and rescue equipment as well as training.
He said co-location of the unit and volunteer brigade had been working well so far and they expected it to improve efficiency in emergency situations.
“The members on both sides are really enthusiastic,” he said.
“We can all see the benefit to the community in responding to community issues.”
Mr Ross said cooperation may include SES helping to transport firefighters to and from bushfires, rather than the brigade members having to drive fire trucks back and forth.
He said SES volunteers usually helped WA Police in land searches for missing people and did repairs to homes damaged by storms, fires or crashes.
The unit currently has about eight fly-in, fly-out volunteers and Mr Ross said they found it a satisfying way to contribute to the community during their home swings.
“They bring a wide range or extraordinary skills to what we do,” he said.
“A lot are already trained in mine rescue.”
Unit hopes to have 30 members
The retired farmer said the aim was to have about 30 members who would receive training before attending incidents.
“Within three months, we expect to be responding to callouts,” he said.
Wanneroo Council endorsed the unit’s establishment in February after considering a report that said DFES had identified a gap in SES services covering the City’s north coast region and neighbouring Shire of Gingin.
“In the future, a new six-bay co-location facility will be built on the current Two Rocks Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade site,” the report said.
The Two Rocks SES unit meets for training on Tuesdays from 7pm to 9pm and holds monthly social barbecues.