SES volunteers awarded for frontline emergency efforts
Volunteers who worked on the frontlines during the State’s biggest emergencies were acknowledged on Saturday night at the 2015 State Emergency Service Awards.
Winners included the Manjimup SES Unit, which won the Team Achievement Award for their significant contribution to saving Northcliffe during the bushfire that threatened the town earlier this year. The bushfire was the biggest in the South West in more than 50 years and the Manjimup SES Unit put in more than 1,200 volunteer hours, away from their work and family, to help save the town and surrounding areas.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson said the awards were an important opportunity to recognise outstanding community service.
“State Emergency Service volunteers make significant sacrifices so they can respond to people in need,” Commissioner Gregson said. “these recipients embody the ideals of community spirit.” “They have had a significant influence on State’s capacity to respond to emergencies through their dedication to training and helping their fellow volunteers expand their technical skills.”
The winner of the 2015 Peter Keillor Award was Bayswater SES rescue section leader Jane Campbell, who has served her community through the SES for a decade.
Despite her busy job as an emergency room nurse, Jane volunteers an average of 15 hours a week to the SES and has provided training to other volunteers throughout the State.
The winner of the 2015 Youth Achievement Award was Mt Barker SES Local Manager Kirsten Beidatsch. A relatively new member of the service, Kirsten has dedicated her spare hours to boosting her unit’s membership and increasing its community profile.
SES volunteers play a lead role in the response to emergencies such as storms, cyclones and floods, and work with other emergency services at searches, rescues and fires. There are more than 2,000 SES volunteers across Western Australia.
The 2015 SES Awards were presented across three categories:
Peter Keillor Award
Jane Campbell, Bayswater SES
Jane has been a member of the Bayswater SES Unit since 2005, becoming an integral part of the Unit’s management, leadership and training teams. Last year she gained her Cert IV in training and assessing, ensuring there is high quality delivery and assessment within the Bayswater Unit and the SES as a whole. Jane is a committed member, showing a high level of professionalism and dedication to the service.
Team Achievement Award
The Manjimup SES Unit demonstrated exceptional dedication and commitment responding to the Northcliffe bushfire in February, which burnt more than 98,000 hectares. Its members performed various functions, including radio operations, logistics support, assisting with water bomber reloading and in Incident Management Teams. Collectively the Manjimup SES Unit donated more than 1,200 hours to the multi-agency response effort.
Youth Achievement Award
Kirsten Beidatsch, Mt Barker SES
Kirsten took over the role as the Local Manager of the Mt Barker SES in 2014 and has shown exceptional leadership skills. She has implemented innovative ideas that have raised the profile of the Unit and actively recruited new members. Kirsten was recently named the Western Australian Youth Volunteer of the Year for 2015, reflecting her passion and commitment not only for the SES but the wider community.
SESVA President Gordon hall said” “I behalf of myself and the SESVA I would like congratulate the winners of each of these prestigious Awards and all of the nominees”. Gordon also went on to acknowledge the high calibre every volunteer and team that were nominated for this year’s awards.