SES: We needed them in the floods, we need them in recovery. They need you to sign up

Susanna Freymark

Many SES volunteers lost their own homes during the floods including those from Woodburn, Coraki and Lismore.

Local SES units need more members and this was highlighted during the floods when so many people had to be rescued, some from the roofs of their houses.

Now the region is in flood recovery, SES are still on the ground helping. There simply aren’t enough of them.

These are member numbers for local SES units.

Kyogle: 34

Casino: 20

Woodburn: 21

Coraki: 10

Broadwater: 9

Tabulam SES Unit is no longer operational because of a lack of volunteers.

At Broadwater SES, a new storm trailer was delivered a few days ago. Photo: Contributed

The Casino SES unit welcomed the support and assistance from many out of area crews.

“This gave our own crews some much needed extra people power, as well as some valuable down time to rest and recharge,” an SES representative said.

“We had two consecutive strike teams from Fire and Rescue NSW, as well as a great bunch of guys from Victoria VICSES Ballarat Unit and an eager crew from Northern Territory Emergency Service NT SES – Palmerston Volunteer Unit.”

Northern Rivers NSW SES incident controller Paul McQueen thanked the other agencies for helping.

The road ahead after the flood will be a long one.

“We might not be able to see the water anymore, but what’s left behind is the damage to our towns and the unseen impacts on mental health and well-being, Mr McQueen said.

“Please, be kind to each other and remember we are going through this experience together, and we’ll continue moving forward together.”

A NSW SES representative said with events of the magnitude of the floods, they called upon partner agencies to assist including the NSW Police Force, NSW Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, Surf Lifesaving, Marine Rescue, Volunteer Rescue Association and the ADF.

NSW State Emergency Service commissioner Carlene York came under fire for the SES decision to turn down help from the ADF days prior to the flood crisis.

The State Emergency Service’s response was criticised after it was revealed the SES refused assistance from the army and emergency helicopter operators.

A recent report revealed that an ADF representative reached out to the SES on two occasions on February 25 offering assistance three days before the flooding began but were turned down.

On the ground, in our communities, more volunteers are needed for the SES units Find out what it takes to join here.

If you need support call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Woodburn SES lost the lot
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