SES needs rescuing from low membership
JOHN Endres has been a member of Mundubbera SES for 21 years.
The plumber by trade, who also worked for North Burnett Regional Council as a water plant operator, said he joined because it was "something that needed doing.”
"Helping other people appealed to me,” he said.
"We fill in the gaps where there is no other organisation which does what we do.”
Despite performing this vital role in the community, the Mundubbera crew is facing increasing pressure: it is down to five members.
"I'm both the second oldest and third youngest member,” Mr Endres joked.
The team camped out today at Mundubbera Markets hoping to boost their membership by three to five people.
North Burnett SES local controller Brian Lowe said being an SES member allows you to undertake a series of nationally accredited courses for free, including flood boat and chainsaw operation, first aid, CPR and traffic controlling.
The traffic controller course is especially helpful, he said, because it makes it "easy to cross over into a paid position” in this field.
Mr Lowe said there are two compulsory courses to be a member, but aside from that, members are free to put in as much as they would like.
Mr Endres said the voluntary role fits easily into full time work in his experience.
"A lot of employers, if you get a call, say, 'Right, off you go',” he said.
North Burnett crews don't only help their local communities: they can receive deployment requests right across Queensland.
"It's an option if people have the spare time,” Mr Lowe said.
Previous call-outs have included to Yeppoon after Cyclone Marcia in 2015, Innisfail after Cyclone Larry in 2006, and into far north Queensland after Cyclone Yasi in 2011.
Mr Lowe said, contrary to Mundubbera, Eidsvold's SES membership is steady, while Biggenden's and Monto's are both increasing, Monto's especially so, since former Monto Shire Council CEO Les Hotz took on the role of group leader.
For more information and to join, contact Brian Lowe on 0427 611 663.