Seventy new volunteers have joined the ACT State Emergency Service (ACTSES) in time for the 2020-21 storm season.
The virtual graduation will be held today at 4pm-5pm and can be viewed here.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentleman welcomed and congratulated new volunteers as they graduate from their four-month training course.
“The arrival of 70 new ACTSES volunteers is timely, with the current La Nina weather system predicted to cause a particularly bad storm season through to April 2021,” Minister Gentleman said.
“These recruits have developed skills in storm and water damage, land-based floodwater rescue, safety and first aid. They are well prepared to be first responders during floods and storms and to provide crucial support to other emergency services.
“This is one of the most diverse recruit intakes I’ve ever seen and is a great example of the ACT community stepping up to volunteer. The new cohort is very reflective of the Canberra community with members from 18 to 70 years-of-age from various backgrounds and all walks-of-life.
“I am especially pleased to see 32 more women joining and commend the ACTSES for their approach to increasing gender diversity within the service.”
ACT Emergency Service Agency (ACTESA) Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said the recruits showed great resilience and commitment in adapting to social distancing measures by using online platforms to conduct theory-based training, virtual meetings and interviews.
“Training was altered due to COVID-19 restrictions to ensure social distancing measures were adhered to,” said Commissioner Whelan.
“I would like to welcome and thank our newest recruits for choosing to protect and support the Canberra community during their time of need.”