Stirling SES Unit
Metro North Coastal Region
The Stirling SES unit was formed in 1968 as a Civil Defence group with Joe Rice as Manager and Tom Appleyard as deputy. It is one of the oldest units in the metropolitan area and has been looking after the community for 55 years.
Stirling SES started at the back of the old Stirling Council building. There were two rooms, one for Communications and one for training. A lot of the training had to be conducted outside due to lack of space. There was a 2-bay shed that housed 2 vehicles, a Rodeo Ute, an old Land Rover and 3 rescue trailers. The Landcruiser had to be garaged at the Local Manager’s house.
When the council decided to demolish and rebuild the present council facility in the 1990s, LM Maureen Grierson secured the empty Nollamara Football Club building at 33 Carcoola Street Nollamara and it was converted to suit the units needs. The vehicles were still located at the Cedric Street depot, so callouts were complicated. A 4-vehicle shed was then built nearby on Sylvia Street which still presents a bit of a walk from the unit.
Unit members have taken part in many Airborne searches, including the search for missing MH370 Aircraft. A specialist role Stirling SES held was Vertical Rescue with members conducting training at various locations. Some of the unit VR team members took part in the Karijini National Park Hancock Gorge rescue in 2001.
Another specialist role was Tracker Dogs. Brian Law was originally the leader of the SES Tracker Dog unit, stepping down when the dog unit split up. Tracker Dogs started around 1998 and ceased in 2007 when the Canine Unit was formed. There were many successful searches including the finding of a handgun. Tracker Dog training was undertaken at the unit along with taking part in search training out in the bush. Stirling lost its Canine status in 2010.
Another role that was undertaken for many years was being part of the rescue teams at the Avon Decent. The trusty Land Rover carted canoeist and power boat participants who were injured or separated from their boats. It was a cold but fun campsite for our SES unit of volunteers. The unit enjoyed many years running the Kings Park area of Perth’s Australia Day Skyworks, controlling the crowds and even one year isolating a fire area when a firework set fire to the embankment.
In 2023 Stirling SES is still located at Carcoola Street Nollamara with the Equipment Depot located around the corner in Sylvia Street. We have over 60 members who volunteer their services to the City of Stirling and the wider community. Many have been in the unit for over 10 years