Bundaberg SES local controller Bill Daniells with community member Amy Whittet and one of the deputy controllers, Sharyn Kilby.
Bundaberg SES local controller Bill Daniells with community member Amy Whittet and one of the deputy controllers, Sharyn Kilby. Mike Knott

Floods bring members to SES groups

FLOODS across the state have taken a terrible toll on victims and put volunteers through the wringer – but they have also been a good advertisement for the incredible work done by groups such as the SES.

SES controllers in the region said their organisations relied on strong membership to be effective and, after facing the devastation and clean-up of the floods, interest in their work was at an all-time high.

“Membership is pretty strong in Bundaberg, with just over 200 members,” Bundaberg district controller Bill Daniells said.

“Since the floods, we have received a lot of expressions of interest, but we won’t know (how many we get) until February, when the next round of training starts.”

Mr Daniells said there had been a lot of positive feedback from the public and local businesses since the floods.

Childers SES senior training officer Elise Cottam said it was important to have a strong group of reliable members during a crisis.

“We have 15 die-hard members who live and breathe SES,” she said.

“There are also members who only come in when a crisis hits because not all of them can do it every week.”

She said SES membership in Childers had been steady in the past 12 months, with increased interest in the past month.

“Numbers have increased since the recent floods and we have two new members about to start,” she said.

Mrs Cottam said the floods were a good advertisement for local SES branches.

“When things like this happen, it’s a tragedy, but it’s also a positive thing because people realise this stuff can happen,” she said.



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