Ingham Daily Press

Keeping People Connected

People power to bring back SES in Halifax

Forrest Beach photographer Mostyn Swain's image of a dog perched on a letter box during the 2014 floods went viral around the world.

AFTER more than a decade Lower Herbert is reforming its state emergency service group – and volunteers are needed to get the project off the ground.

Training will be available for volunteers who want to be involved in search and rescue, flood boat operations and traffic control.

A multitude of courses are on offer, including becoming certified to use a chainsaw to assist with disasters and learning First Aid.

An information night is being staged tomorrow at the Blue Light Hall on Argaet Street and organiser Senior Sergeant Gio Tantalo (53) is urging people to get involved.

‘We are looking for as many volunteers as possible. Training is provided and there is a job for everyone’ – Senior Sergeant Gio Tantalo.

There are more than 300 state emergency service groups (SES) in Queensland – dedicated to helping communities in times of disaster.

Cyclones, floods and landslides are some of the reasons the SES gets called into action and the groups give a platform for heroes from every community to come together and help out in times of need.

The radio communications posts are an essential part of the service.

Sergeant Tantolo added: ‘Someone might say: “I can’t climb on a roof or be on a flood boat, but I would like to operate radios in the ‘comms centre’ or maybe do the chainsaw course to assist in disasters”.

‘There are lots of courses and qualifications. Members will only be on-call if they are available for that call-out.

‘Volunteers will have the opportunity to complete some training on a weekly basis – or when time permits.

‘If people wish they can take longer courses for specialist training – it’s entirely up to them.

‘Tomorrow night is designed to answer any questions people have.’

The meeting starts at 6.30 pm and is being held at the Blue Light Hall on Argaet Street, Halifax.

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