Season’s greetings to you all from the President
Traditionally it is the time of year to think of and be with family. December is, in our world, a time for thanks and gratitude for the year that is passing and thinking about what may come in 2023.
Many of our SES colleagues have served in the eastern states in the flood operations and assisting communities where people have had their lives changed by the extreme weather events that just keep giving. In Western Australia, we have so much to be grateful for in our lives, many lessons to gain experience from and the ability to continue to make positive contributions in our boarder community. Its great to have choice.
Last month I started using the term “SES Worker”. Whilst the reality is that we are SES Volunteers, I would like you to think about a few things as we edge into what could be a busy response season.
Many community members don’t understand that in times of need, we are volunteering our time and learned skills to assist them. We are in many minds, SES workers. That comes with some expectations such as being kind when we attend and assist. Its not the best time for those we are there to help. There may be some sense of entitlement because they may pay the Emergency Services Levy!
The benefits we gain from having robust Work Health and Safety legislation in WA do refer to volunteers as workers. Yes, we do know we are volunteers, but we do remain focused on the principle of meeting the organisation and personal responsibilities halfway. It just doesn’t work unless we are closing the gap in safety actions with our mutual aim of going home safe, happy, and healthy. We think about expectations, there is nothing stronger that those who wait for us at home; who expect us to uphold the work ethic that see us walk through the door to a warm, loving return home.
We regularly get to see the return of appreciation for the tasks we undertake from members of the public, colleagues, extended emergency service members and others. After all, no matter what the uniform may indicate, it’s the intent and heart that provides a common purpose for humanity. During Christmas and New Year, lets reflect on the positive contribution you all make as an SES community leader.
Thank you again and please stay safe in all your endeavours. We are a special bunch in the SES.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
The Executive, Committee and staff of the SES Volunteers Association Incorporated wishes everyone in the SES Volunteer Family and their families, fellow Emergency Responders and the Western Australia community a Safe ,Joyous Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.