SBS Punjabi

How to become an SES volunteer in Australia?

SBS Punjabi

SES workers try to remove an enormous tree out of the top storey of a house in Wahroonga in Sydney, on December 4, 2001.

SES workers try to remove an enormous tree out of the top storey of a house in Wahroonga in Sydney, on December 4, 2001. Source: AAP Image/Laura Friezer


Published 12 April 2022 at 4:19pm
By Chiara Pazzano
Presented by Paras Nagpal
Source: SBS

 When there’s an emergency related to floods, storms and other natural events, volunteers play a key role in responding across Australia. But how can people join their state or territory’s State Emergency Service? What are volunteers expected to do and what skills do they need to have before they join? 


Published 12 April 2022 at 4:19pm
By Chiara Pazzano
Presented by Paras Nagpal
Source: SBS


The State Emergency Service (SES) is the name used by a number of organisations in Australia that provide assistance during and after major incidents.  


Specifically, the service deals with natural disasters such as floods, storms and tsunamis, but can also assist in other emergencies, such as vertical rescue and road crash rescues, missing person searches, and medical evacuations.  


Every jurisdiction in Australia has its own State or Territory Emergency Service.  


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Priscilla Grimme is the Volunteer Support Officer at the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES). 


She says VICSES helps prepare communities for disasters and then respond when a disaster occurs.  


"We are the control agency for floods, storms, earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis, but our everyday jobs and our ‘bread and butter’ is storm damage jobs — trees on houses, on cars, on roads, all those sorts of things. And that's when our volunteers would get called to assist. So, we make it safe. So, for example, if a tree goes through a roof, we'll tarp it up and put some sandbags and things like that on the roof to make the property safe."

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