Noosa SES calls for more helping hands

HELP WANTED: Noosa SES is recruiting new volunteers who want to help the community.
HELP WANTED: Noosa SES is recruiting new volunteers who want to help the community. Contributed

WITH storm season fast approaching, Noosa SES is looking to recruit new volunteers to boost its numbers.

"Across the four SES groups in Noosa Shire we have about 55 volunteers... ideally we would like to get a further 12-15," Noosa SES deputy local controller Carol Watkins said.

"As volunteers, we work in our community in a variety of ways including land searches, flood rescues, storm damage, traffic control, local events and much more."

It's not all glamour and excitement though, Carol explained.

"There is a lot of basic training for new recruits," she said.

"Training in ladders, ropes and knots, emergency lighting - it is important, because if you're in a storm and putting a ladder up out in the wind against a roof, you need to know how to do it properly... some people get a bit frustrated that it seems so basic but, for us, it's about getting people trained properly.

"All the training is free, which includes full first aid training, and a lot of our courses are nationally accredited."

Volunteers are also required to attend community events and help with fundraising.

Carol said most volunteers in the Noosa Shire are retired as they are the ones who have the time, but she "would love some younger ones to join".

The minimum age is 16 and there is no upper limit.

"We are here to help the community in times of emergency... volunteers give as much time as they can. If they're not available, they're not available," she said.

Depending on how severe the season is, the SES receives calls for sandbagging, water leaking into roofs, emergency roof repairs and, of course, if there is flooding they have flood boats ready to do emergency evacuations and rescues.

"People trained as a flood boat operator, they usually have three to four years under their belt because it's a very high risk activity, very dangerous.

"I remember one storm about seven years ago when we had about 500 call outs. In Noosa Parade nearly every roof had a skylight and nearly every one was smashed by the hail."

The next intake of volunteers will be on Monday, October 12 at the Tewantin SES.

Phone Carol to register your interest on 0408 078 073.

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