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Wellington prison staff add blue to NSW SES ‘orange army’

Published date: Tuesday 9 April 2019

[PDF version of this media release]

Eight correctional staff from the state’s central west will be the newest volunteers to assist with bush searches and road accidents after signing up to the NSW State Emergency Service.

The seven custodial officers and one senior case manager from Macquarie and Wellington correctional centres completed a week-long intensive training course last month, focussing on urban rescues, road rescues and first aid.

Corrective Services NSW Senior Assistant Superintendent Mat Pike, who is also the local SES commander, said it was the biggest annual boost to their ‘orange army’ numbers.

“We have increased the response capacity of our SES team by 400 per cent, which is so important to help keep the Wellington and Dubbo communities safe in times of need particularly as we have such big and busy roads in our region,” Mr Pike said.

“Staff did a great job getting hands on with the training and we’re very grateful to management at both prisons for allowing this opportunity.

“The work our officers do every day definitely helped with the SES training as some of the skills such as teamwork, good communication and risk management are interchangeable.”

CSNSW signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NSW SES last year to encourage all staff to sign up as volunteers – the first time a government agency had entered into an agreement with the NSW SES under their new flexible volunteering model.

The eight Wellington volunteers will next complete training in storm rescues.

Senior Case Management Officer Aaron Edwards said he decided to sign up as he wanted to give back to the community.

“After seeing the work my son has done with the SES, I thought I’d like to do my bit to help," Mr Edwards said.

"It's great that the department allows us the opportunity to volunteer with the SES, to further our skills and make a valuable contribution to the community."

The NSW SES is Australia’s leading emergency rescue agency for flood, storms and tsunami.

NSW SES has 9,000 volunteers ready to help and support NSW communities in times of disaster.

If you are interested in volunteering with the NSW SES, please go to www.ses.nsw.gov.au/get-involved/volunteer/ or call 1800 201 000.

CSNSW media inquiries: 0419 258 290 – calls only, no SMS