For Wear Orange Wednesday, we're sharing stories about hardworking volunteers like the Crosier family of Rosedale, and asking the community to show their support by wearing orange and saying #thankyouSES
Together, the Crosier family has served more than 146 years to the Rosedale community.
“We are very proud of this achievement and have enjoyed our years of service with the VICSES and as a family we look forward to many more years to come,” Tania Crosier said.
“At one stage, all seven family members were part of the Rosedale Unit. The pagers would go off and because we all lived on the same street the unit response times were under four minutes at worst, usually within two minutes as the headquarters and vehicles were located a few doors away.
“When the pagers go off in the middle of the night you could say it’s a crazy household. Everybody bails out, gets dressed and runs out the door,” she said.
Tania’s husband, Robert Crosier, was the first of the Crosier’s to join the SES unit in 1982. He was 16 years old and is still an active member with 33 years’ service.
He has been the Deputy Controller for the past 25 years and has also assumed the Acting Controller position several times over the years.
Robert’s knowledge and passion for VICSES has seen him attend many terrible accidents and has helped saved hundreds of lives.
“His first call out involved our family friends and since then his passion to assist people in the community grew,” Tania said.
“The down side to living and volunteering in such a small town or community when the pagers go off, is that there is always a chance that we will know the person or the family involved. This has hit home quite a few times with family and friends being lost to accidents…these are times we pull together as a family.
“The Traralgon bus crash in July 2008 is another incident he will remember for a very long time – the arduous task of removing the tray of a semi from the cabin of a bus while the driver was trapped,” she said.
Tania recalls the floods of April 1990 as another memorable occasion.
“Our vehicle that we borrowed from the Loch Sport Unit was washed off the road and the members were rescued by a passing Bedgoods truck.
“Robert spent four days and four nights with little sleep assisting the area of Rosedale, Nambrok, Denison and surrounds with cattle moving and sandbagging. Our first born daughter Kelsey was only three months old at the time – you could say this was her baptism to VICSES,” Tania said.
“During the height of a four-day storm in August of 2007, Robert attended 47 callouts ranging from leaking roofs to trees fallen on property. He has driven the SES rescue boat down the streets of Traralgon and Seaspray, and he has jumped out of a Helicopter to rescue cattle stranded in floods,” she said.
Robert’s mother, Marie Crosier, joined the unit in 1985 and after 24.5 years’ service retired in 2009.
“Marie was the Communications Operator and Finance Officer for the unit for many years. She spent countless hours fundraising for the unit and she was also the co-ordinator for the unit Driver Reviver site for 20 years, spending many Easter’s serving tea and coffee to the passing traffic.
“Prior to the unit receiving a headquarters, operational responses were sometimes conducted from her kitchen table, with the kettle being hot and ready upon the members’ return no matter the time of day or night. She retired at the age of 73 years,” Tania said.
Robert’s father, Max Crosier, joined the unit in 1989. He loved serving tea and coffee at Driver Reviver and having a chat with people.
“He basically joined up so he could socialise but he was also handy with painting and maintenance of the headquarters and the unit caravans which were refurbished for Driver Reviver.
“Due to poor health Max retired from the unit at 71 years’ of age after 12 years of service. He has since passed away and was recognised with a guard of honour by the VICSES Rosedale Unit and regional and state staff at his funeral,” she said.
Robert’s twin brothers Andrew and Mark Crosier were also SES members, both serving about 10 years before moving interstate.
“Having twins in the unit made it very interesting at training and at a scene.
“Usually another emergency service would speak to one and then speak to the other and wonder why they didn’t understand what was being told to them and why they hadn’t done as asked.
“It wasn’t until they stood together that people realised they may not have spoken to the right one. It did cause a lot of confusion at times,” Tania said.
Robert’s youngest brother, Colin Crosier, also joined the unit in 1995 when he was 18 years old but has since resigned after moving out of the area.
Tania Crosier, who joined the SES in February 1987, said she married into the SES Rosedale Unit.
Tania has 29 years of service and is still an active member of the unit. During her time in the unit she has raised an incredible amount of funds, with one letter written to ESSO giving the unit a $10,000 donation which assisted with the purchase of a four-wheel-drive for the unit.
With the refurbishment of the unit headquarters over the past couple of years, she has even had the kitchen sink donated to the unit. She has received many commendations over the years for her radio communications and efficiency.
All three of Tania and Robert’s children (Kelsey, Abbey and Maddison) have also been involved with the SES.
“Our girls have followed in our footsteps and are all members of the unit. They all grew up being the mascots for the Rosedale Unit wearing orange overalls from the time they were little.
“Kelsey has since moved interstate but promises to return home one day and Abbey is now the Unit Training Officer and coordinates all training for the unit.
“Maddison was General Rescue and RCR Accredited at the age of 16 and it was stated at the time she was one of the youngest female members to become accredited.
“As a family we are very proud of her achievements. She is turning 21 this year and is a valuable team member during callouts. Maddison actively contributes to the unit with new members and uniform orders,” Tania said.
“Without the support and commitment of all the members of the Rosedale Unit our community would suffer, so we thank you all. We are very much a family unit.”
If anyone would like to come and join the unit it is always on the lookout for new members. They meet every Monday at 7.30pm at the LHQ 47 Cansick Street Rosedale.