Regular Australia Day Hero’s
Paul Hollamby, Local Manager, Gosnells State Emergency Service says that our community prepares in many different ways to celebrate Australia Day, a barbeque with friends, attending the fireworks or just spend quality time with family. With Australia Day on Thursday this year, many people are going to make it a four day long weekend. While the majority of the community is preparing to party, State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers around the state are preparing for disaster.
For those volunteers able to get time away from work and family commitments, the volunteers around Carnarvon are in need of rest. While the fires burn closer and closer to homesteads and towns, the SES Volunteers are standing along side the paid and volunteer fire fighters providing transport and other support services to enable the fire fighters to fight the fire. A combined team from the Metropolitan area has already gone, taking sleeping bags and swags because of limited accommodation. Two more teams are being assembled, with each team away for 7 days.
At the same time, while the SES volunteers in the North West prepare for a cyclone on Thursday, a number of teams from Perth are preparing to deploy. They don’t know when, they don’t know where. What they do know is that if the cyclone causes lots of damage, they are trained to do what it takes to help their fellow Australians. Graham Fixter, of Thornlie, is one of the Gosnells SES volunteers prepared to fly where and when needed to help with the cyclone clean-up.
This does not mean that the rest of the volunteers are preparing for a holiday. They are preparing to assist local fire fighters for a pending heat wave. They are also preparing to provide support services and medical transportation at fireworks events.
While the Prime Minister Julia Gillard prepares to recognise the “Australian of the Year”, spare a thought for those every day, unsung hero’s, including the State Emergency Service volunteers, who don’t need 5 star accommodation and don’t need financial payment. All they want is to help their fellow Australians and a thankyou some times.
It is worth remembering that volunteers would not be able to make this commitment without the support of their families and employers. The SES train regularly to be able to combat many types of natural and man-made disasters. Training with the SES is open to men and women, of all ages over 18. Contact the Gosnells SES on 9459 8015 to find out more about becoming a volunteer.
Graham Fixter of Thornlie, maintaining his chainsaw skills,