SES Volunteers Association of WA

One Association - Many Values

26/01/2021 – Allen Gale ESM

Allen Gale ESM

Allen joined the Northam SES Unit in 1972 and after initial training and experience worked his way up to several Volunteer Management Positions and eventually became a career officer in 1989.  Allen has been the lead person in many operations around the state. These have included some very difficult searches with undesirable outcomes, search and rescue operations in flood and cyclonic situations and many evacuations.

On the non-operational side Allen has been a very effective coach and mentor to many SES Volunteers, represented the SES at many state level strategic meetings and in recent years has been the go-to and advisor person for the Chief Superintendents and other high-level staff in DFES.

Allen has been on many of the negotiating teams working for DFES and building the bridge, or middle ground, with the SES Volunteers to ensure the best level of support to the Community.  After retirement in 2020, Allen became a peer reviewer for the book on the WA SES and Civil Defence History.

Throughout all these roles, Allen has given his time with little or no thought to himself but to the betterment of the Community.

Allen embodies the qualities of the committed State Emergency Service member and exemplifies a strong ethos and commitment to the community that would be difficult to surpass.

Throughout these 48 years as a Volunteer and staff member, Mr Gale’s dedication has been unquestioned, and with the support of Volunteers from many SES Units, he has put the needs of the community first to assist in their preparedness for the effects of any natural hazard.

Greg Cook SESVA President said I behalf of myself, Executive team and Committee members I would congratulate Allen on being awarded the Emergency Services Medal which recognizes your dedication and commitment  to the SES and the Community at large.

Well Done Allen, and we thank you for your service.






Allen Gale ESM

23/01/2021 – SES History Book Launch

The WA State Emergency Service (SES) History from Civil Defence into the 21st Century

On Saturday, 23 January the Minister for Emergency Services, Fran Logan MLA, launched a book about the history of the WA SES. FES Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM and SESVA President Greg Cook spoke about the history of the SES and their Volunteers at the launch.

The compilation of the history of the State Emergency Service in Western Australia, was intended to bring together as much of the history as possible from the Civil Defence days of the 1930s, to the formation of the State Emergency Service in Western Australia and covers the subsequent years, from when it was part of the Civil Defence and Emergency Service of Western Australia, part of the Police Department, its’ own entity as the State Emergency Service, in more recent years as a clear role within the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia and finally in 2012 being merged into a fire culture within the new Department of Fire and Emergency Services. 

The book sets out the timeline from Civil Defence to SES over a number of years and the subsequent fire and emergency agencies under which the SES Volunteers operate.  It also attempts to cover some of the support aspects of the SES as well as a number of interesting operations and some of the committees involved.

Two chapters showcase all SES Volunteers who have received state awards or been honoured through the Australian Honours and Awards system for their dedication and distinguished service in the WA State Emergency Service.  It is well recognised by communities at all levels of government that the true altruistic nature of State Emergency Service Volunteers provides significant social capital by instilling a sense of community and caring, a level of civic pride, and a sense of self-reliance and security for their own community.

The book consists of 213 pages with associated pictures and a short history of a number of the SES Units.    There has been a limited number of the books printed and an eBook will be available for downloading in February via Amazon.

It has been compiled by Gordon Hall ESM and has been peer reviewed by John Capes OAM and Allen Gale – all SES Volunteers.  There is a forward by the Minister for Emergency Services and the FES Commissioner.

Please direct all enquiries or requests for further information to Gordon Hall;

Gordon Hall ESM the books author
FES Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM -Gordon Hall ESM - Minister for Emergency Services, Fran Logan MLA
Gordon Hall ESM and Greg Cook SESVA President

18/01/2021 – Location technology boosts emergency response

Location technology emergency response

Emergency services will now be able to locate people in distress more easily this festive period thanks to new state-of-the-art location technology.

The Advanced Mobile Location (AML) technology automatically sends location information to Triple Zero when people call from a mobile phone.  AML works by combining GPS, Wi-Fi, mobile network information and other sensor input.  Once this information is calculated, a SMS with the caller’s location is automatically sent to Triple Zero while the call is underway.

Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM said every second counted in a life-threatening emergency.  “Advanced Mobile Location technology has the potential to save lives, especially when callers are unsure of their precise location,” Commissioner Klemm said.  “The AML technology can identify the caller’s location within a five-metre radius outdoors and 25-metre radius indoors.   

“This life-saving technology will reduce the time spent verifying the caller’s location, allowing crews to be dispatched faster.   “However it’s essential callers also verbally state their location to Triple Zero call takers when phoning for assistance.”

St John WA Technical Services Executive Director Ashley Morris said 78 per cent of Triple Zero calls in Australia are from mobile phones.   “If the phone’s location services are switched off, they will be automatically activated, then deactivated, following the call.

“Visit the Triple Zero website to ensure AML works on your mobile phone so we can get to you faster in an emergency.”

While AML works automatically on Android phones, iPhone users must update their operating systems to iOS 14.3 for the technology to work.  AML is a collaboration between the Federal Government, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), the WA Police Force, St John WA, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Google and Apple.







13/01/2021 – Albany SES new HQ announced

Albany’s State Emergency Service new HQ

A new State Emergency Service facility will be built in Albany.  Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan has announced up to $3 million for a new SES building on Mercer Road.  It will be rated a Level 3 Incident Control Centre, suitable for coordinating large-scale emergencies, and should be open within 18 months.

SES WA Commissioner Darren Klemm says it’ll be a big boost to local crews.

“This new facility will put them in a fantastic place in terms of the fit for purpose nature of the facility and it will only enhance their ability to provide their service to the community, and it should also assist them with attracting more members,” he says.

The new Albany SES facility will include a big response building, separate administration building, indoor and outdoor training areas and a six-vehicle bay garage that can house the region’s Incident Control Vehicle.

The Albany SES Unit has 55 active volunteers and 10 vehicles operating out of its current station, which is no longer fit-for-purpose. The new facility will provide volunteers with modern and comfortable amenities as well capacity for the unit to increase membership and cater for the growing needs of the region. 

The new facility is scheduled to be completed by July 2022.



Western Australia - State Emergency Service

11/01/2021 – SESVA Committee Vacancies


At the present time, the SESVA have vacancies for Regional Representatives for the South Coastal and the North Coastal regions.  Being an SESVA Representative for a region is an extremely rewarding experience and gives you the opportunity to provide input on current and future issues effecting SES Volunteers.

If you are interested in becoming involved in assisting and advocating for your fellow SES Volunteers, and are a member of an SES Unit in either of the above regions, contact the Secretary to discuss on 0428 612 480 or email

One Association - Many Values

08/01/2021 – 2021 Volunteer Leadership Program

Applications are Now Open

DFES Learning and Development has provided information and instructions for DFES Command Personnel about nominating emergency services volunteers for the 2021 Volunteer Leadership Program (VLP).

The SESVA is pleased to promote this opportunity to SES Volunteers.  In addition to this information, DFES will be carrying out the following communications:

  • Volunteers with registered emails will receive a special notification today advising them of the application process.
  • The Volunteer Hub has information regarding the application process.
  • For those volunteers who don’t currently access the Volunteer Hub, local DFES Managers are available to assist with face to face support.

Promotion for the 2021 Volunteer Leadership Program started later than usual due to continuing uncertainty related to COVID-19 restrictions (for example, many of the trainers are based in Queensland).

A strong response to last year’s call for applications led to AIDR planning a second Volunteer Leadership Program in Western Australia. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. AIDR has contacted the successful applicants for the cancelled VLP and has offered them a rescheduled VLP, planned for 12-14 March 2021.

2021 plans are subject to trainers being able to travel without the need to quarantine.


The Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) has announced the Perth date for the 2021 Volunteer Leadership Program (VLP) – an immersive residential two-day program for emergency sector volunteers with the aspiration and aptitude to take on leadership positions within the emergency services.

The VLP provides an introduction to Volunteer Leadership and Management. It will be attended by emergency services and not-for-profit volunteers who are involved in emergency response and recovery.

DFES is viewing this course as an additional development opportunity for new leaders within the volunteer workforce. It is in addition to volunteer leadership training provided by the Academy. Attendance at the training will be recognised by the Academy but will not be accredited.

The Volunteer Leadership Program will be held in Perth (specific location to be confirmed) from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 March 2021 (inclusive).

The costs of the residency program are covered by AIDR with DFES covering costs associated with transport if required and approved prior to submitting an application.

Additional information can be found on the DFES Volunteer Hub.


DFES is encouraging nominations from emerging volunteer emergency services leaders.

It is important to note that places in the course are limited and while DFES will prioritise attendees, AIDR makes the final decision about who will attend.

Applications close on Friday 5 February 2021.


Further Information

For questions about the process of providing an endorsement, statements of support or prioritisation contact:
Paul van der Mey – Manager Academic Pathways

For program inquiries contact:
Jennifer Pidgeon – Manager Strategic Volunteer and Youth Programs