Orange is the new black as the State Emergency Service (SES) encourages Queenslanders to don its signature colour today, Wednesday 22 May, in support of thousands of selfless volunteers.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said Wear Orange Wednesday – or WOW Day – was a national event to say ‘thank you’ to the hard-working men and women helping our communities during times of need.
“The Palaszczuk Government is enormously proud and grateful to the work, the time and the selflessness of our SES volunteers across Queensland,” Mr Crawford said.
“The service’s distinctive orange uniform is a familiar and comforting sight before, during and after a crisis.
“The Queensland SES has about 6,000 volunteers coming from all walks of life, who work around the clock in incredibly difficult conditions to keep our communities safe during natural disasters and emergencies.
“Last year, these incredible men and women donated a massive 400,000 hours of their time and energy helping with storm and flood operations and other search and rescue activities.”
Mr Crawford said Queensland witnessed the power and resilience of volunteers in full force during recent weather events, including cyclones Owen, Penny, Oma and Trevor as well as major flooding in Townsville.
“SES volunteers have a passion for helping people in the worst of weather and at the hardest of times,” he said.
“They devote a considerable amount of time to skills development and training to ensure they are ready and can help communities prepare and recover when disaster strikes.”
QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the work of SES volunteers couldn’t happen unassisted and WOW Day provided an opportunity to also thank the family, friends and employers of volunteers.
“These volunteers will often leave their own families and lives to be there for their communities when assistance is most needed,” Ms Carroll said.
“Often they are tasked to incidents in trying conditions and confront tense situations yet, despite these challenges, conduct themselves professionally and with compassion.
“Their effort and commitment is without question and I would like each SES volunteer to know their contribution is appreciated.”
Ms Carroll encouraged workplaces and communities to support WOW Day by wearing orange or hosting an orange-themed event.
“Seeing people wearing or decorating their workplaces with the SES’ signature shade is a fantastic way to let our volunteers know they are appreciated and valued by the communities they work so hard to support and keep safe,” she said.
*All statistics are for the current financial year (1 July 2018 – 22 May 2019).