It is that busy time of the year again, with Christmas parties, presentation nights and graduation ceremonies to attend, as well as the involvement in our own SES Units – all good fun.
This is also a time of the year to reflect on the past year and think about what matters most to us; our families, our friends, our emergency service colleagues, the many supporters and the communities that we serve.
From an SES point of view, we have had a busy year on non-operational matters which culminated in a special forum at the Duxton for all SES Local Managers and senior Volunteers. At this forum they discussed some of the barriers preventing the SES going forward. The Minister and the Commissioner are to be acknowledged for their foresight in this area and it is hoped that we will see a number of changes in the coming year.
The SES experienced a quiet winter this year with a smaller number of requests for assistance. Further to this the Bureau of Meteorology expects that we will have a quiet season with an outlook of maybe two cyclones this summer.
Meanwhile the Emergency Services on the eastern seaboard are in full emergency response modes with a cyclone, floods and fires. We wish them all well in the response and assistance to their communities.
This summer the state could have a busy fire season and all services are in preparation to ensure all Volunteer and Staff Emergency Responders are ready if required.
We all know that there are often emergencies at this time of the year and even though the SES Volunteers have a reduced activity period (RAP) with limited training over the Christmas New Year period, they have a high level of preparedness and networks in place to respond immediately if an emergency event happens.
I also acknowledge the role and support by the Volunteer Emergency Service Responders families, friends and many supporters that makes it all possible throughout the tough times of emergency events.
In closing, and on behalf of the SES Volunteers Association Committee, I would like to extend our best wishes for the festive season, to all the Volunteers and Staff involved in the Emergency Services, your families and many supporters and to thank you for your continuing support to your community.
Please have a safe and happy festive break.
Gordon Hall ESM