SES takes spotlight on Wear Orange Wednesday

COLOUR OF THE DAY: Mount Gambier/Berrin State Emergency Service (SES) volunteer Caitlin Edwards said Wear Orange Wednesday was a time for community members to commemorate their local SES volunteers, while also finding more information on how they might be able to help the organisation themselves. Picture: TYLER REDWAY

Tyler Redway

THE time has come once again to celebrate the dedication and effort of South Australian State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers with Wear Orange Wednesday.

Every year on May 22, community members from across the state are encouraged to wear an orange article of clothing to celebrate the service of SES volunteers and the countless lives they have saved with their work.

Additionally, Wear Orange Wednesday usually falls in the middle of National Volunteer Week which commemorates the dedication of not only the SES, but volunteers in all other kinds of organisations and communities.

In celebration of the day, an information session which gave community members an insight into the inner workings of the SES was held at the Mount Gambier Marketplace.

Mount Gambier/Berrin SES volunteer Caitlin Edwards, who hosted the session, said a big part of Wear Orange Wednesday was its ability to spread awareness of the organisation to people who may not know of the services the SES provided.

“Compared to other emergency services, the SES probably covers a broader range of things,” Ms Edwards said.

“We get so much nationally recognised training to be able to help the community in various ways, so we do everything from storms to road crash rescue.

“Quite often people don’t know what we do so it’s just good to be able to get out there and let people know that.”

Ms Edwards said donations were encouraged for the SES from members of the public as it would help to upgrade equipment and the capability of the organisation.

She said public awareness was one of the most important factors for Wear Orange Wednesday as it had the potential to recruit more volunteers to the cause.

“Everyone has been up for a chat to find out some more information as well as wanting to find ways they can help us out,” she said.

“We are always encouraging donations to be able to upgrade our gear but I think the biggest thing is public awareness and sharing more information about us.

“Volunteering with the SES is such a great experience and there is so much life experience you can pick up along the way.”

According to the State Government, the SES has responded to more than 6800 requests for help in the last 12 months and has logged more than 43,000 hours of training to boost the capability of the organisation.

SA SES chief officer Chris Beattie said Wear Orange Wednesday was an “ideal opportunity” for people to show their support for the volunteers who ensured the communities of the state were in safe hands.

“I’m incredibly thankful for all the hard work our dedicated volunteers do to ensure the community is prepared and protected before, during and after emergencies,” Mr Beattie said.