About the SES

When a natural disaster strikes - a storm, cyclone, earthquake, or flood - State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers can be found helping to secure communities and get them back on their feet.

Services to the community

SES provides a wide range of services to help cope with the effects of natural disasters - from emergency repairs on buildings, to restoration of essential services and ferrying cargo and passengers across flood waters.

But responding to the effects of natural disasters is only part of SES’ responsibility. Volunteers also carry out land search (which can involve tracker dogs and horse-back searchers) and cliff and cave rescues. Our volunteers have also assisted in air search observation.

In remote areas where Fire and Rescue Service is unavailable, SES volunteers are responsible for the difficult task of extricating people from vehicles involved in road crashes.

SES is a large team and many volunteers work behind the scenes as radio or computer operators, in administration or incident control, planning and logistics. During prolonged incidents, SES volunteers can even provide catering services.

Equally important is the safety education role of SES. Volunteers actively promote prevention and preparation measures in visits to service groups, senior centres and homes, local business and schools.

SES volunteer training includes:

  • First aid
  • Map reading and navigation
  • Land search techniques
  • Storm damage techniques
  • Flood boat rescue
  • General rescue
  • Radio communications
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Driving vehicles for emergencies
  • Road accident rescue
  • Single rope techniques (abseiling) and vertical rescue
  • Observation from aircraft and supply dropping
  • Ground support for fire services
  • Catering

If you would like to learn more about the SES or how to become a volunteer, contact your local SES unit or ring the Volunteer Recruitment Information Line on 1800 628 141.