Today's Volunteer: Sarah Ford, Benalla Unit
It’s National Volunteer Week. To celebrate, we are spotlighting a different member of our service here each day.
As a volunteer with the State Emergency Service (SES), Sarah Ford is doing a lot.
As Deputy Controller for the Benalla Unit, Sarah helps run the show and co-ordinate operations. She also acts as Duty Officer, answering the call to arms if the community needs assistance. At the moment she’s pitching in on the administration side as well.
On top of that, Sarah serves as her unit’s Media Liaison Officer, answering calls from journalists and making sure her team’s good work makes it onto the news.
“I think I missed my calling as a journalist,” she says, as a local television reporter sets up to interview her.
Sarah speaks well on camera and clearly enjoys spreading the message. When the interview is done, she asks when the story will be airing, so she can tell everyone including Facebook friends to tune in.
When people think of SES volunteers, their mind often turns to burly blokes cutting people out of cars or filling sandbags as floodwater flows forward. Those are invaluable, life-saving jobs, of course, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes at the SES, and a lot of ways volunteers can do their part. Sarah is a great example.
“There's a job in SES for everyone,” says Sarah.
“There’s operations, emergency management, administration, PR, community education, finance and much more – there’s so much for you to do.”
Sarah has been volunteering with the SES for nine years.
“One of my best friend’s mum was in the SES. When I finished school I wanted something to do so I joined up. It was an opportunity to help the community out in times of need.”
Sarah’s SES work fits into a busy schedule. She is an Asset Support Officer/Building Inspector at the local council, is studying for an Advanced Diploma in Building Surveying, plays alto saxophone, and is the president of the Benalla Rose City Band and a member of the local Rotary Club.
“I love volunteering and giving something back to the community. It’s one of the best feelings in the world.”
The Benalla unit has 22 members whose ages range from 17 to 70.
“We have had a number of young members join, which is fantastic to see, they are the future.”
“Everyone in the unit puts in what they can.”
Can you see yourself in orange? Visit our volunteer page for more information.