BLUE STEEL: SES volunteer Samantha Buchanan talks about her experience as a volunteer during SES week. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
BLUE STEEL: SES volunteer Samantha Buchanan talks about her experience as a volunteer during SES week. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

All in a day’s work for SES volunteers

LOOKING for a way to help the community following the 2011 floods, Sam Buchanan made the decision to join the SES.

But with no previous ties to the organisation, Miss Buchanan had no idea what she was in for.

Nearly five years on, Miss Buchanan credits the SES with helping her became a more confident person. She's also made life-long friends and found love.

"I've met a lot of great people, I've leant so much from so many different people," she said.

"I met my fiancé through the SES - Sam Clough. He's actually now my acting deputy."

Also a Rural Fire Service volunteer, the 25-year-old has taken on the responsibility of becoming Burnett Heads SES acting team leader and said she was enjoying the additional challenge of leading its members.

"I've been doing the acting role for about four months now. It's a little bit challenging but it's been great," she said.

"It's a lot of work. People think we just stand around and direct cars but in a natural disaster it's such a huge job."

Miss Buchanan put her skills to the test earlier this year at the state level rescue challenge, which saw six teams face a range of difficult rescue scenarios.

"One was a car accident, one was a drug and alcohol house where we had to rescue people when a fire started," she said.

"We had to go across a raging river to rescue a snake bite patient. It was a huge weekend.

"We were thrown into scenarios where we had no idea what we were walking into and we had to sit down and work as a team to come up with a positive outcome."

Miss Buchanan said she was now more confident in herself and any decisions she has to make.

"You have to think outside the box on the best and safest possible way to deal with the situation," she said.

"Knowing that in a disaster I'm able to make a difference, not matter how small, is the most rewarding part.

"We do a variety of training; a lot of height safety work so we feel confident up on the roof, especially if we're battling wind and rain.

"You just learn so much and its stuff you can use for everyday life."

This week is SES Week and Miss Buchanan said she would encourage everyone to consider joining the SES.



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