The ACT State Emergency Service’s (SES) latest recruitment drive has attracted 66 new volunteers which has bolstered staff and volunteer numbers to more than 300 volunteers across the ACT.
Thirty-one women and 35 men will participate in an induction this weekend prior to taking part in a 15-week training program on Thursday nights and some weekends.
The recruits will build their skills in stormwater damage remediation, land-based floodwater rescue, and safety and first aid as they prepare to join frontline operations and support roles.
ACT SES Chief Officer Georgeina Whelan said she was excited for the latest intake of volunteers.
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“The latest intake of volunteers will help in a number of ways and with the additional numbers we can be available to many more requests throughout the year,” she said.
“The ACTSES aims to ensure the ACT not only sustains but continues to develop our volunteering community in order to foster a partnership with the residents of the ACT.”
Ms Whelan said the latest diverse range of recruits were a reflection of the ACT community.
“This recruit intake is one of the most diverse groups we have ever seen. This year, 48 per cent of our recruits were female, and we also have a broad range of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds,” she said.
“The recruits are from a wide range of ages, nationality and backgrounds which is important because we wanted our SES community to be relatable to the Canberra community in which they live, work and operate.”
Ms Whelen said she had a sense of pride when she greeted her new volunteers.
“Last night when I greeted the new volunteers, I had a sense of pride. Ninety-five per cent of my team work for no money in return and they are so generous,” she said.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentlemen said he was consistently impressed by the passion and dedication of all emergency service volunteers in the ACT.
“I’m especially proud that so many Canberrans have stepped forward to volunteer with the ACT SES to help protect our community from storms and floods,” Mr Gentlemen said.
The recruit college will complete their training and assessment before spring, just in time for Canberra’s storm season.