Desire to help drives SES volunteers

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton SES manager Tom Wilson at the repaired wall in Fitzgerald Street.
Camera IconGeraldton SES manager Tom Wilson at the repaired wall in Fitzgerald Street. Credit: Geraldton Guardian, Tamra Carr

Fixing a brick wall in Geraldton after a motorist ploughed into it, helping firefighters battle blazes and joining police in a search for a missing tourist.

The call-outs are varied and part of the appeal for Geraldton-Greenough State Emergency Service volunteers — who are united in their desire to help those in need.

The latest incident came when manager Tom Wilson received a call from his district officer to respond to the Fitzgerald Street wall incident. An hour after the call, his crew had arrived to patch the break with plywood and support beams.

“It was a public safety issue, really,” Mr Wilson said.

“Especially since the wall is near the Geraldton Primary School.”

Earlier this month, the volunteers helped police locate a German tourist lost at Mount Augustus, who was found dead after a two-day land and aerial search.

More recently, the crew helped Geraldton firefighters tackle the blazes in Drummond Cove and Utakarra.

Mr Wilson said inmates and staff at the Greenough Regional Prison also supported the firefighting effort, making 200 sandwiches for firefighters. The left overs were donated to people living at a Geraldton youth homeless shelter.

“Everybody really stepped up for that,” Mr Wilson said.

Mr Wilson described the State Emergency Service’s bread and butter as managing flood, earthquake and storm situations, but said volunteers never knew what kind of work they would be asked to do.

“I don’t think we’ve ever needed to fix a brick wall since I’ve been here,” Mr Wilson said.

“There’s really things for everybody to do.”

The service is always on the lookout for new recruits.

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