SES Volunteers Association of Western Australia (Incorporated)

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11/06/2010 – Gosnells SES More ready for storms

June is the official start of winter. Gosnells SES have been actively preparing for this. Early in May the Gosnells SES successfully launched the Storm Safe campaign with the support of Bunnings in Maddington. Gosnells volunteers were on hand to provide information to members of the community about how to prepare for winter storms.

Last week, three volunteers spent three days on Rottnest Island to run a Storm Damage workshop, to prepare and respond to a severe storm. The training was provided to employees who work in the Island, many of whom are also volunteer fire fighters.   Running a course on Rottnest was challenging, given that it is an “A Class” Reserve. Many of the conditions that are taken for granted in Gosnells required variation, including transportation.

Gosnells SES Local Manager, Mark Geary who was one of the trainers said, “The training provided was customised to fit in with local needs. The skills included building characteristics, temporary roof and building repairs, and response to flooding”.   In the event of a severe storm affecting Rottnest, staff would be expected to respond initially, with secondary support from SES when they get across.

One difference between the participants and SES is that any repairs that are made by SES are temporary. On Rottnest, after completing the temporary repairs, the staff would most likely return later to perform permanent repairs.  All participants on the course were enthusiastic and gained a variety of skills by the conclusion of the course. Gosnells SES ran a similar course for the Rottnest Island Authority two years ago. Mark said “The willingness of those on the course ensured that it was a success.”

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