Green shoots at Heywood have deep roots

Green shoots at Heywood have deep roots

12/09/2023, 9:00 AM

VICSES Heywood Unit, Former Controller, Charles Debono ESM, with VICSES Heywood Unit Controller, Rebecca Fleming

A new leader is drawing from a wealth of experience to manage large-scale emergencies in the Heywood area, and is looking for new members to join her.

VICSES Heywood Unit Controller, Rebecca Fleming, was onboarded in July as the new Unit Controller. Rebecca started as a finance officer in 2019, and was working at the local bank when VICSES Heywood Unit volunteers put out an Expression of Interest for new members.

Rebecca, who is leading the unit during a period of change, will focus on managing the transition to a new and modern facility, to be co-located with the site with local Country Fire Authority (CFA) brigade.

A new round of recruitment at the unit will begin on Thursday October 12th, with an open night encouraging prospective members to come along and meet our volunteers, see our equipment, and have a short induction into what being a VICSES volunteer means.

Rebecca has relied on advice and mentoring from local VICSES stalwarts such as John Sterling, who is a long-term member, and Charlie Debono who is a former Unit Controller.

Charlie, who was awarded the Emergency Service Medal earlier this year, has been key to driving VICSES Heywood and Portland Unit memberships to become thriving community-based organisations, by establishing strong relationships with other local emergency services and community groups.

Stephen Collins, who is a long-term member with Heywood and previously of Healesville, has taken over as training officer; further drawing from a wealth of experience, and effectively division of labour, to run the unit.

These VICSES life members give support to the eight operational members when they need it, but the volunteer cohort are looking for new members; who want to learn new skills in exchange for their time, serving the community.

If you are interested, look out for VICSES Heywood Unit members around your community, including at the Wood, Wine and Roses Festival this summer.

From townships on the Murray to the north, throughout the Mallee, over and between the ranges to the east and around the central plains; from the Bellarine to Port Phillip Bay: our volunteers are ready. Interested in volunteering with VICSES? Join Us.

Quotes attributable to VICSES Heywood Unit, Controller, Rebecca Fleming:

“A lot being a Unit Controller is administrative, so you don’t necessarily have to jump on the back of a truck to serve your community during a flood or storm event, or other large-scale emergency.”