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Here we are in the middle of the Festive Season – What a fantastic time of the year to be enjoyed by all.
As we think about what matters most to us; our families, our friends, our emergency service colleagues, the many supporters and the communities that we serve, many of us will also reflect on this past year. I look forward to the New Year with much optimism and in the full knowledge that 2015 will provide its own set of challenges, including preparation for what could be a busy year for all Volunteer and Staff emergency responders.
What makes this time of the year so special, is reflecting on what the communities do for preparation and protection of their way of life and assets. The Volunteers are the community and it is their spirit, their camaraderie, their dedication, that ensures the risks in their community are reduced and the general safety of all is the best possible, no matter which service they are in. It is also the Volunteer Emergency Service Responders families, friends and supporters that make it all possible by supporting them throughout the tough times of emergency events.
It has been very rewarding this year in attending a number of the end of year and award night functions where many Volunteers were rewarded for their hard work and dedication by their peers. Many of these also included the more awkward or embarrassing moments which bought much humour to the evenings proceedings.
I have also witnessed many Volunteers this year in the field doing what they are trained to do during a response. To see their training and practice assimilated into the field is very rewarding, especially when they achieve their objectives.
The Association worked closely with many of the DFES staff during the year for the betterment of the SES Volunteers and their role. The support by the DFES Commissioner in resolving a number of the challenges the SES Volunteers face, has been greatly appreciated and is assisting all of us to do our roles more effectively.
One of the biggest achievements this year has been a grant to purchase eight buses to be strategically placed for emergency response by the SES throughout the state. These commenced rollout on 3 December and the last metropolitan bus will be delivered before Christmas. The appreciation by the SES Units and Volunteers is being shown by emails and photographs being received by the Association. Already the buses have been deployed twice in bushfire support and the feedback from the firefighters has been very positive.
It is well documented in this state and country that we get emergency events happening at this time of the year. However even though the SES Volunteers traditionally take a break over Christmas, they have a high level of preparedness if an emergency event happens and networks in place to respond immediately. In closing, and on behalf of the SES Volunteers Association Committee, I would like to extend our best wishes for the festive season, to all the Volunteers and Staff involved in the emergency services, your families and many supporters and to thank you for your continuing support to your community.
Please have a safe and happy festive break.
SES Bus Deployed to Whiteman Park Fire
On Sunday the Mundaring SES Unit went operational for fire support at Whiteman Park. Mundaring SES’s new bus was used for transport of fire fighters to between Whiteman Park and Bush Fire Brigades in the Shire of Mundaring. The feedback received is that it was very noticeable that the use of the buses for this role was superior to the use of Land Cruisers. This is due to the fact that the bus was able to sit six fire fighters with their equipment safely stored in the bus and still have plenty of room to sit comfortably.
These new buses will not only enhance the support by the SES Volunteers to the Bush Fire Brigades, but with six of them strategically located in and near the metropolitan area will provide extra support for other emergency responses as well.
On Wednesday night Santa came early to the Armadale SES Unit. Following the unit’s end of year presentation of training certificates and various awards SESVA President Gordon Hall announced the arrival of the third SESVA-BHP Billiton Bus. Present at the occasion were a number of invited guest including:
- Mr Nathan Hall Community Emergency Services Coordinator
- Mr Don Randall Federal Member for Parliament
- Mr Glenn Luton and wife Maureen City of Armadale Depot supervisor
- Mr Mark Geary acting on behalf of the Mayor
- Mr Chris Kin Maung DFES - District Officer
- Gordon Hall President
- Phillip Petersen ESM
- John Capes OAM
After Gordon announced the arrival of the bus unit members spend time inspecting and testing the features of the bus and posing for group pictures. To say the unit members were delighted with their latest vehicle would be the understatement of the year. This is the third of the buses to be presented to SES Units. Rockingham/Kwinana were presented with their bus on Tuesday at a low key event which I am sure will be followed with an official occasion in the future.
SESVA President Gordon Hall presents the keys to Local Manager Peter Clark and Deputy Connie Eikelboom
Group Picture with a big thumbs up to BHP Billiton and the SESVA
Local Manager Peter Clark and Deputy Connie Eikelboom acknowledge the sponsor for the bus Project BHP Billiton
Lansdale Search – Support services to SES Volunteers
As you are aware , many SES Volunteers were involved in the search for the missing Lansdale boy Sam Trott. Your efforts in this operation were very greatly appreciated by the Family, Community at large and DFES. Given the nature of this search we would like to remind you all about the support services available to you and your immediate family. These include:
- Pager Number: 9485 7800
SES Peer Supporters
- Graham Fixter (team leader): 0417 984 398
- Brett Jasson: 9395 9346
- Robert (Hank) Kingma: 9395 9364
Employee Assistance Program
- PeopleSense: 9388 9000
- Access Programs: 1300 66 77 00
For further assistance or information please contact the Wellness Branch at DFES.
The following email was recieved today.
I just wanted to pass on my appreciation to you and your colleagues in the SES for their tremendous efforts in the search for Sam Trott. In particular to those who ultimately found him I am mindful that that terrible discovery will stay with those volunteers for a long time. They are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope they know that the brave thing to do is seek help at any stage in the future if needed.
Margaret Quirk MLA
SES Volunteers Advisory Committee Meets
The SES VAC met formally for the first time on 4 December. On the agenda were a number of items including endorsement of the Chair and Deputy Chair appointments, review of the Local Government Grants Scheme Manual and Workers Compensation Injury Management policy and procedure. The SES VAC will be meeting four times a year to discuss and advise DFES on high level strategic matters directly related to the SES Volunteers and their Service.
A report of all SES VAC meetings will be sent to all SES Units within 4 weeks of that meeting. Below is a photo of the new SES Volunteer Advisory Committee members appointed by the WA Government Cabinet in 2014.
Front row, left to right; Mac Holt, Phillip Petersen ESM (deputy Chair), Gordon hall (Chair), Trevor Patton ESM, Bernie McNamara ESM
Rear Row, Left to right; DO Allen Gale, AC Brad Stringer, Helen Coleman (Support Officer), Shelly Staff, Matt Thomas, DC Lloyd Bailey AFSM
The official launch of the new Give 2 Good Foundation was undertaken last Friday night by Her Excellency the Honorable Kerry Sanderson AO, Governor of Western Australia, together with Honorable Michael Mischin MLC, Attorney General. Give to Good is Western Australia’s newest community foundation, created to help every day philanthropists give to good causes. Two deeds of Trusts have been signed by founder Dr Penelope Flett AO, and the Public Trustee of Western Australia to create two trust funds. Dr Penelope Flett AO is a former WA Australian of the Year and ardent supporter of the aged, disability and community sectors. Public Trustee, Brian Roche said Give2Good will help to boost philanthropic giving in WA with donors no longer needing to go to the expense of setting up a philanthropic structure of their own.
“Many of our Will clients want to include a charitable bequest and West Australians have proven time and time again that small contributions can and do make a positive difference to worthwhile causes.” In attendance at the launch were members of the judiciary, government agencies, community and charitable organisations, including SESVA Committee person, Phillip Petersen ESM on behalf of SES Volunteers.
Donors can use Give2Good to contribute to an existing charitable fund or, if the donation or bequest is greater than $20,000, a cost-effective named account or memorial can be created. More about these trust funds Public and how you can contribute can be found on the Trustee of Western Australia web site: https://www.publictrustee.wa.gov.au/G/give2good_foundation.aspx?uid=8073...
The Public Trustee is a Statutory Authority responsible for managing the financial affairs of at risk Western Australians. The Public Trustee manages approximately 5,000 trusts with gross assets valued at $1.3 Billion and is custodian of over 100, 000 wills in the WA Will Bank.
Photo: (L to R): Brian Roche Public Trustee; Dr Penelope Flett AO; Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AO, Governor of the State of Western Australia; The Honourable Michael Mischin MLC, Attorney General; Cheryl Gwilliam Director General, Department of the Attorney General.
Bunnings Fund Raiser for Emergency Services
The SESVA has sent an email to all SES Units advising them that Bunnings will be supporting a number of emergency service Volunteer groups in January 2015. The Bunnings Staff will be manning an Aussie Barbeque at all stores on Saturday 24 January 2015. All funds raised will be going directly to support of local Volunteer Fire and Emergency Service Brigades, Groups or Units. Each Bunnings store will choose which group they wish to support. Many stores have chosen to support more than one group.
As many Bunnings stores already have a strong relationship with their local emergency services groups, they will make contact with local group/s to inform them of their support and invite them to attend the BBQ. If there is a Bunnings store in your area, you are encouraged to make contact with the local store management to discuss the possibility of your SES Unit being selected as a recipient of the Fundraising proceeds.
After the promotion, Bunnings will send the funds they raised for the SES to the SESVA for distribution in accordance with the list of participating SES Units. All funds for SES Units from Bunnings will go to the SES Units. This is also an opportunity to work with the participating Bunnings stores and have a presence on the day. This can be in a number of ways and can be linked to an information night or as part of a recruitment drive.
Thank you Bunnings for supporting the SES Volunteers and their community.