Busy year for Sale SES
It has already been a busy year for Victoria State Emergency Service’s (SES) Sale Unit.
As well as being its 50th anniversary, 2013 is also the year that Sale SES has gained accreditation as a Road Crash Rescue (RCR) Unit. Not only that, but the unit has also taken on 12 new members this year, bolstering their numbers to 43 volunteers.
Sale SES Controller Adam Townsend said planning for the unit to become a Road Crash Rescue provider had begun back in 2009 to meet the needs of the Wellington Area, which had previously been served by volunteers in Rosedale and Stratford.
Victoria SES is the state’s largest provider of road rescue in Victoria, with units in most of the state’s country areas and some outer metropolitan suburbs performing this valuable, trying task.
Mr Townsend said Sale’s road to rescue accreditation was a long one. Individual volunteers were the first to gain qualifications, followed by a unit-wide capability audit. Given the nature of RCR, units require endorsement from a state-level committee chaired by Victoria Police before they can provide the service.
Sale passed its capability audit in February this year, by which time 12 volunteers had been accredited (none had been accredited as of November 2012). In March, Sale was officially accredited as Victoria SES’ 102nd RCR Unit.
Mr Townsend said the unit had been out on the road since then, putting their training into action to save lives.
The addition of new skills is a fitting way to celebrate Sale SES’ 50th year, but it’s not the only way.
The unit hosted a formal anniversary dinner to mark the occasion, including 94 guests from Victoria SES, three levels of government, other emergency agencies, local businesses and the community.
Mr Townsend said the night had been a great success and saw Long Service Awards covering 300 years of service given out. The Geoff Perkins Legacy Award was also given, honouring Sale SES’ former controller who passed away last year.
A desire to give something back to the community is what motivated Mr Townsend to join SES, where he has been both a volunteer and member of staff.
He said Sale SES’ activities were on the increase, with a focus on establishing good networks with other agencies and the community, as well as the unity’s new members.
Mr Townsend paid tribute to the Gippsland Times for their ongoing support of the unit, crediting their willingness to spread Sale SES’ message with the unit’s successful record of recruitment campaigns.