ABOVE: SES Chief inspector Hayden Doolan joined the SES one week before the 2022 floods. Photos: Susanna Freymark
SES chief inspector Hayden Doolan thought it was a joke when he found out he was a finalist in the Rotary Emergency Services Community Awards.
“I thought someone had me on,” he said.
Mr Doolan was nominated by his peers for his service during the floods.
“I was only with the SES one week before the floods,” he said.
“I became local commander. I had no idea and had to learn on the job.”
And what a job it was. The February-March 2022 flood disasters impacted communities across the Northern Rivers.
“I’ve grown heaps since the floods and in my understanding of what we’ve been through,” Mr Doolan said.
“You carry a lot of emotion and burden from the stories you hear and reading the jobs as they come in.”
Part of his role is to assist the volunteers in dealing with what they have been through.
Being a finalist in the awards wasn’t just about him though.
“It’s about the volunteer team working with me,” he said.
The four finalists for the awards were Hayden Doolan from the Richmond Valley Cluster, Dayna Ingram from Hurstville Unit, Yasmin Jimmieson from Musellbrook Unit and Armidale Unit and Hayden Tarran from SES Port Stephens.
The winner will be announced on August 12 at Bankstown Sports Club in Sydney.