Photo at top –  Yass SES members (left to right) Rob Bolin, Dan Geldart, Genny Geldart, and Paul Vohradsky (Photo credit Jasmin Jones)

The Yass unit of State Emergency Services NSW (SES) recently held a recruitment & get-to-know-your-local SES unit session at the Murrumbateman Markets.

Community Engagement Officer Jenny Geldart spoke to the Yass Valley Times about how the recruitment went, how one can join the Yass SES Unit, and what work in the SES looks like.

The recruitment was successful, raising awareness among the community about emergency events, and potentially recruiting new members.

 

“We think we had a pretty successful day, we managed to talk with a lot of people and raise some awareness about being prepared for flood and storm events. We think we’ve rustled up some new members, which is great because the more members we’ve got the more helpful we can be to the community. It’s been a wonderful day out”, said Jenny.

 

The Yass SES Unit currently has a membership of fifty, with twenty active members. The Yass Unit encompasses Murrumbateman, as Murrumbateman currently has no unit, although there are hopes this will soon change.

On recruitment, Jenny confirmed that “the more the merrier”, with no particular target or size in mind. Jenny noted that the Yass Unit is actively looking, and does not have any waiting lists in place, contrary to other regions such as Canberra.

 

“What’s really interesting about the Yass unit is if people are trying to get into the SES in and around local areas like Sutton, you have to be on a waitlist to get in, if you want to join the Canberra units you have to be on a waitlist, where us here in the Yass unit, we are looking for members, we are not going to put you on a waitlist, you can join us straight away,” said Jenny.

Yass SES help our community to be storm ready & assists with flood evacuations, storm damage such as trees down, search and rescues & assisting other emergency service branches

Jenny described what joining would look like, with training, uniforms and roles discussed.

 

“There are great opportunities for personal development, for learning and training. We provide uniforms and training”, said Jenny, noting that admin roles are also available.

“People don’t have to feel like they are uncomfortable about what they’re doing, so anything that you do with us you get trained to do, and it’s not just the hardcore climbing on roofs and searching for people, if you want to just do an admin role where you’re helping in the background to support people on the field, then we are welcoming people from all aspects”.

 

For those curious, or unsure how much they can commit or offer, Jenny assures that no prior background is necessary and that there is a fair amount of flexibility with the roles.

 

“There’s no must-haves, just a willingness and a heartbeat”, said Jenny.

 

“It’s completely open to what people want to commit. My commitment is that I’m the community engagement officer, so I’m out here on days like today but if you’re just wanting to help with answering the phones when storm events come in, if that’s your level of being able to help then that’s great. We welcome that small amount, any amount of help is welcome”.

Griffin Palen