Help keep your community safe

By Seymour Telegraph

Victoria State Emergency Service’s Seymour unit is in need of at least 20 new members to play a vital role in ensuring the safety of their community.

Numbers have dropped significantly during the past few years, and they are almost at crisis point with only eight current operational members.

The role of VICSES volunteers is to work with all Victorians to build greater awareness, involvement and self-reliance during emergencies.

As the control agency for flood, storm, tsunami and earthquake, VICSES volunteers will also answer the call of the community and provide assistance in times of need.

VICSES volunteers receive accredited, recognised training as part of their role, which could include general rescue, chainsaw operations, community education or media training.

There are also roles in road crash rescue, radio communications, finance, administration and other specialities including marine and alpine rescue.

Seymour SES controller Christine Welsh said volunteering was a rewarding way of helping the community.

‘‘VICSES Seymour Unit is a great place to meet new and interesting characters and the unit always welcomes newcomers,’’ she said.

‘‘I have been a VICSES volunteer for nine years. I joined just after Black Saturday because I felt useless during the event and wanted to be able to help my community in times of need.

‘‘One of the things that make SES units so great is the diversity of members. You can have teachers working alongside electricians, retirees and university students. There really is a role for everyone at VICSES.’’

VICSES Seymour will be holding information sessions which will include a tour of the facility as well as a presentation on who they are and what they do.

Dates and times for these sessions are:

•Wednesday, June 13 — 8.30pm to 9.30pm;

•Saturday, June 30 — 10.30am to 11.30am;

•Tuesday, July 10 — 7pm to 8pm; and

•Sunday, July 22 — 2pm to 3pm.

The Seymour Unit at 115 Wimble St, Seymour hosts evening training sessions every Thursday at 7pm.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a VICSES volunteer, phone Christine Welsh on 0411496854.