Ballina SES calls for new members

THE organisation that has helped so many people in the community now needs you.

The Ballina State Emergency Service unit, which was quick to act to helplocals after the Lennox Head tornado this year and the May storms last year, has launched a recruitment drive.

Local unit controller Gerry Burnage said the unit currently had 35 volunteer members, but wanted more.

The dedicated band of men and women attended 438 tasks during last year's storm in May, and 139 calls for help following the Lennox Head tornado in June this year.

Those two events led to the unit's members completing more than 4000 hours of emergency repairs.

“We have to respond to an emergency for the first 72 hours, before outside assistance can be dep-loyed, so the more people we have available the better our response will be,” Mr Burnage said.

A basic training program is due to start soon and end in March next year, with a rescue training course involving rope skills, chainsaw operations, tarping and flood-boat training expected to finish in May.

“The SES is a great way to learn skills, which are recognised nationwide, help your community, maintain and use equipment and work in a team environment,” Mr Burnage said.

“Many lifetime friendships have been formed as a result of volunteering with the SES.

“And don't worry about your skill level. We can find a way for you to help, and we can teach you what you need to know.

“There are jobs for every fitness level.”

The minimum joining age for the SES is 16.

People interested in signing up can attend an information night planned for 6.30pm on October 13 at the unit's headquarters in Angels Beach Drive, Ballina, at the roundabout opposite Ballina Central.

Applications and more information on the SES will be available on that night.

Phone the duty officer on 6626 8655.

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