Our senior volunteers have many stories to tell from their time in the NSW SES. This week, we’re shinning the spotlight on some of our best and longest-serving members.
Vic Weller is the Hunter Capability Unit Commander and once rescued more than 150 dogs and a few goats from floodwaters near Londonderry.
“The water was about 1.m deep and the dogs were just managing to keep their heads above the water. They were exhausted, but alive,” Vic remembers.
The Hills Unit Commander Evelyn Lester recalls the damage from a hailstorm which swept across the Hills Shire, Sydney in 2017.
“There were houses with more than 300 holes from the hail. The community was devastated. We saw first-hand the hardship of families trying to get back to normal after their homes were damaged.”
Gundagai volunteer Joe Bond founded the NSW SES Gundagai Unit more than 45 years ago. He didn’t have a rescue truck. Instead, he’d borrow a friend’s tow truck.
“We used 2 tow-trucks were owned by local businesses, a Ford and a Holden. We didn’t have any equipment either, all we had was a couple of crow-bars.”
Dennis Buck is the Namoi Capability Unit Commander and a volunteer with the Gunnedah Unit. He was awarded the Emergency Services Medal in 2016 for his contribution to training NSW State Emergency Service Volunteers over the last 15 years.
“I believe in the people of the NSW SES,” Dennis says. “Not just the Units to which I belong but the organisation as a whole.”
Corindi Unit Commander Paul Maher has been volunteering with the NSW SES for more than half a century and, at 81, has no plans to retire anytime soon.
“I don’t see age as an issue,” Paul says, “I would rather be occupied.”