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Community education pays off | Moe Unit

Community education pays off | Moe Unit

Published 01/05/2017
Fun. Entertaining. Hands-on. This is the key to effective community education, according to Anita McGown, Moe Unit Deputy Controller.

“Our unit regularly attends schools, community events and briefing sessions. It’s very important as it instils information into the minds of those most vulnerable in our community – children and the elderly.

“Community events are important because they give us a presence, exposure as a unit and give the public an opportunity to talk with us and ask questions. I also love the events that our unit and members organise, as it is such a wonderful opportunity to showcase us as volunteers,” Anita said.

At one school visit the children set up a Z-rig system (an arrangement of lines and pulleys used in rescue situations), attached a basket and pulled up one of the children.

“The children were very impressed as to how it worked! They also dressed up in mini orange SES uniforms and had their photos taken in the truck.

“This was hit with the kids and a memorable visit for us,” she said.

Similarly, at a kindergarten visit the children were left in “fits of laughter” and giving high-fives to Paddy, the SES mascot platypus.

“At the kindergarten, we showed the children some equipment we had in the truck and asked them what each item was. We explained what we used it for and how it worked. Then a cone was placed on the head of one of our volunteers and we asked the children ‘is this where it goes?’ They all yelled ‘no!’ and were in fits of laughter.

“We also had a couple of children tape off an area with the SES tape and explained to them what it was for and not to enter the area if it is taped off.  

“Paddy was there too and the children loved and really engaged with him. They also had a photo taken and played games with him, which was a hit […]. They really enjoyed this part of the visit.

“We wanted to ensure the children had a basic understanding of who we are and what we do. We always wear orange so that people can readily identify who we are and that they can always contact the SES as an agency to help,” Anita said.

The Moe Unit also runs briefing sessions in different towns, informing people of flood and storm warnings, and things to look out for like trampolines blowing away.

And, all of the Unit’s hard work pays off.

  

“Our community is very appreciative of us as volunteers, and it makes us feel as members very humble, and a sense of pride of belonging to such a great unit.  Our unit is very much our ‘orange family’ – we have fantastic members of different abilities, skills and experiences which we can draw on from each other.

“Recognition is also fantastic in the form of donations we receive and the feedback we regularly receive is always very positive,” Anita said.

Invite your local SES unit to your shool, work or community event

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