SES Volunteers Devastated
Volunteers from the Gosnells State Emergency Service (SES) Unit received devastating news in the early hours of this morning. Some thoughtless individuals broke in to the Gosnells Emergency Operation Centre used by both the Gosnells SES and Gosnells Bush Fire Brigade. Gosnells SES Local Manager, Paul Hollamby said “The volunteers are devastated their ability to respond to emergency situations within the community has been affected”
Initially it was thought that they had only set fire to some impounded vehicles being stored in the car park, on behalf of Gosnells. Upon further investigation it appears that they took equipment from trucks and used it to break in to the Emergency Operations Centre. They smashed their way through doors, and once inside it appears they broke into drawers and cabinets. “Some of the members have been volunteering to the community for 35 years, and helped raise funds for the construction of the Emergency Operations Centre”, said Paul Hollamby. “The volunteers and their families gave up their personal time so that the volunteers would have somewhere to train, store equipment and respond to emergencies.” The extent of damage and theft will not be known until the Forensic Police have finished their investigation.
Paul Hollamby said “This thoughtless act will affect the commitment of the emergency service volunteers. They will re-think their willingness because next time these vandals may steal or damage their personal vehicles and property of the volunteers” The Gosnells SES volunteers collectively wore orange for more than 8000 hours across the state last year while helping to respond to and prepare for disasters. Collectively the State Emergency Service comprises of volunteers who have similar experiences across the state. Upon hearing this devastating news, Gosnells SES has been overwhelmed by the offers of support and assistance from volunteers in other Units. “These same volunteers spent hundreds of man-hours assisting at the recent fires at Parkerville. It is immensely disappointing for volunteers when they realise there are people in the community who prey on them while they assist other community members”, said Paul Hollamby
It is worth remembering that volunteers would not be able to make this commitment without the support of their families and employers. 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.