THE Derwent Valley SES is actively recruiting people who may be interested in joining the unit as volunteers. To help meet this aim, the unit will be holding an open day at its headquarters located on the corner of George and Blair streets in New Norfolk this Saturday, February 4, between 10am and 2pm.
The occasion promises to be family-oriented where everyone will have the opportunity to not only witness the unit in action and undertake simulated road crash rescues, but also be able to operate selected items of equipment themselves in a variety of tasks specially prepared for the day. Children will be catered for with SES costume dress-ups, activities, and the rescue vehicles will be available for photos, together with a variety of giveaways including activity books and stickers.
Specifically, the open day will allow anyone interested from the local community to directly ask questions about involving themselves in the SES, with unit and state headquarters staff on hand to assist and answer questions, as well as provide tours of the depot and the equipment unit members are trained in. “Volunteering with the SES can be one of the most rewarding, enjoyable, and fulfilling commitments you can make,” acting unit manager Adam Akam said.
“No matter your age, young or old, the skills and friendships that can be gained through this organisation will be life-changing, and not just for the people you can help,” Mr Akam said. “On one day you can be helping families through storm damage or flooding jobs, the second you might be hiking through the bush looking for a missing person, whilst on the third you might be removing the door of a car to save someone’s life.”
Last year the Derwent Valley SES Unit responded to some 90 incidents. These ranged from flooding, search and rescue, storm damage, and motor vehicle accident/road crash rescue (RCR) incidents. Derwent Valley SES members contributed just shy of 400 hours to these incidents and a further 450 hours to the maintaining of their skills and expertise.
The unit’s rapid response vehicle (4WD Ford Ranger) has had its hydraulic spreader, cutter, and ram equipment removed and replaced by battery operated equipment. This allows for far greater flexibility to deal with road incidents where restrictions on the length of hydraulic hoses would have posed problems.
This has meant that the hydraulic gear from the rapid response vehicle is now relocated to the auxiliary/storm damage vehicle, meaning in effect that we now have three equipped RCR vehicles.
Find more information on the unit’s Facebook page.
Picture: Derwent Valley SES members Adam Akam, Reece Bradley, Michael Reiper and Alan Baker stabilising a vehicle during a recent training exercise.