Support the Busselton SES Unit and Wear Orange to Work

Busselton SES Unit coordinator Jocelin Lawson will be wearing orange to work to support the organisation on WOW Day.
Busselton SES Unit coordinator Jocelin Lawson will be wearing orange to work to support the organisation on WOW Day.

Show your support for the Busselton Unit of State Emergency Service by wearing orange to work on Wednesday May 20.

WOW Day is an annual event held across the nation to thank SES volunteers who play a vital role in keeping communities safe during natural disasters and emergencies.

In WA, more than 2,000 highly skilled volunteers from every walk of life drop everything to help when people need them the most.

Busselton SES Unit coordinator Jocelin Lawson said each week the group trained at their control centre and they were able to continue during the pandemic by conducting training online via Zoom.

"We did a lot of sessions on knots, we are always practicing our knots because we use them for absolutely everything," she said.

"We also did a lot of sessions on navigation, map reading and radio communications."

The SES conduct emergency repairs to buildings damaged by cyclones, storms and floods, to ferrying cargo and passengers across floodwaters.

They also assist WA Police during land searches, undertake aerial and cave rescues, attend road crashes and assist fire crews during the bushfire season.

Ms Lawson said when the pandemic hit a lot planning went into how the SES could respond to emergencies.

The unit was equipped with personal protection equipment and suits if they needed to enter people's homes.

"It needed to be considered if we actually had to go into somebody's house and there was a risk, we had contingencies on how we would deal with everything," she said.

"From travelling, to how many people we could fit into a vehicle, how many people we could have on a team and who could enter a house if it was a storm or car verse house issue."

Ms Lawson said training online during this time was a great for some of their older members who were more vulnerable to COVID-19.

"They were self isolating for their own protection and had no other means of interacting with the unit, it was a good place for them to keep connected," she said.

During the height of the pandemic the unit only responded to a few minor incidents until the recent storm hit bringing 128 kilometre winds to Cape Naturaliste.

"It was probably quieter because people weren't going out, coming into Autumn people tend to start winding down anyway," she said.

"Until the storms hit we get a lull."

Wear orange on WOW Day and show your support by uploading your images to social media using the hashtag #thankyouSES