Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently asked questions about the SES

FESA was formed in 1999 and the SES along with Fire Services and the Bushfire Board were the founding organisations. They were later joined by Sea Search and Rescue (now Volunteer Marine Rescue Service and the Emergency Service cadets)

Orange is the international colour for rescue services. It is easy to recognise in most emergencies, i.e. in building collapse, in bushland, in forest and in the desert.

The SES trains to perform many different duties, involving many skills. There may be times when dangerous situations are involved however through thorough training, using the right equipment, and the right processes the danger is eliminated.

All members are insured whilst performing their duties and training. Ask your local SES Manager about the details.

If you have a genuine income at the time of any injury incurred during an SES activity your income upto a certain limit is protected and all medical bills are covered

Joining the SES costs you only your time.
Life membership, should you choose to stay that long, costs nothing!

After a trial period (this may vary slightly from unit to unit but at around 6 weeks ) all uniform equipment and personal safety equipment (gloves, helmet, safety glasses etc.) are provided to each member.

No, the SES is an equal opportunity employer and apart from a medical declaration form and a Police integrity check, there are no pre-requisites.

Providing the disability is not going to be a danger to yourself or other members all you need to do is declare the disability to the Local SES manager who will discuss the ramifications if any with you.

All Orange SES people seen on TV are volunteers they do not get paid. No SES volunteer is paid. The quality of the training and the volunteer's dedication produces such exellant results


Frequently asked questions about the SES Volunteer’s Association of WA

Membership is open to all SES members. This can be done by registering as an individual or most commonly, registering as a unit.

Not all SES and DFES units have registered with SES Volunteer’s Association. See the answer to question 3 to explain this in more detail. The association still provides all available services to eligible persons/units whether a member or not. We find that most volunteers support the association and its goals, but just haven’t completed an application form for “official” membership.

The SES Volunteer’s Association could have chosen a path of automatic registration for all SES members. However we currently hold the view, that we would like individuals or units to choose membership based on principles of:

  • Freedom of choice
  • By you choosing, then you will develop a feel belonging and ownership. The association still provides all available services to eligible persons/units whether a member or not.

All SES and DFES unit volunteers are eligible to be members. Our constitution explains more about life and associate members. DFES staff are not eligible. A copy of the constitution is available from the SES Association offices and on this webiste" see constitution"

A registration form is available by contacting the Association. The association constitution specifies that a fee may be payable to pay for administration expenses, however this has been waived  as the association has developed funding from advertising in our journal. There is no foreseeable reason to change this.

The association produces journals, calendars and diaries for SES volunteers and to be used as advocacy tools in your own communities. These are also sent automatically to a number of people who need to know what is happening in SES;

Funds raised from the advertising support or have been used for:

  • Administration expenses
  • Attending of volunteer conferences and regional meetings
  • Training courses
  • The association in conjunction with DFES Media & Public affairs developed a promotional video, which was provide free to all SES units to use as a advocacy tool
  • Association Flyers
  • Bumper stickers
  • Supports the SESVA benevolent fund

The association was involved in SES legislation through:

  • Contribution of ideas/topics to be included in legislation
  • The association projected a positive high profile to politicians during the time of FESA/SES Legislation and ESL in Parliament House
  • Contributing to reviews

The association has learnt that volunteer recruitment and retention issues are not just our problem. It is a problem that strikes across the whole of Australian emergency services. We are working with:

  • DFES Human Resources for a coordinated approach to assist with these issues. This has developed a DFES HR “Volunteer and Youth Services”
  • Contributing through Emergency Management Australia (EMA)

Liasing with and casual involvement with SES association is considered normal SES activity and is covered by DFES Risk Cover Insurance. If you decide or are voted to as a committee person, all DFES volunteer associations hold a separate insurance policy. This was forced upon us by changes in insurance legislation (1997). The risk coverage is the same for accidents/death with special provision for liability as we are deemed to be independent of DFES-SES.


For More Information Contact:
State Emergency Service Volunteers Association of Western Australia
PO Box 530 Belmont WA 6984



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