SES volunteers celebrated on WOW Day - Wear Orange Wednesday
Residents across NSW are being encouraged to wear something orange today to show their support and appreciation for their local NSW State Emergency Service volunteers.
Volunteer Adam Jones wasn’t in the Hawkesbury during the flood emergency but many of the skills he taught local volunteers were on show.
Adam Jones - right - with colleague during a training exercise
When Adam trained Hawkesbury volunteers last year, little did he know they would be putting those flood rescue skills to the test in the massive flood that inundated our communities in March.
Adam was part of a Sydney team that helped train and refamiliarise about 200 members with the service’s flood rescue operations, which included the Hawkesbury flood rescue plan.
While the pandemic restricted the chance for face-to-face training, the Marrickville member took to teaching volunteers online. It wasn’t easy, but Adam said it proved incredibly helpful.
In the March floods, volunteers whom he helped train were put to the test; as were the skills he learnt over 20 years as a volunteer and through many out-of-area deployments.
“I helped coordinate flood response teams during the event; something I have learnt over my time with the service,” Adam said.
The 38-year-old joined NSW SES as an 18 year-old, wanting to learn new skills, serve the community and make friends.
Since joining, he has proudly helped his unit reach gender parity, grow from 20 to 140 members, and win two state-wide rescue competitions in 2017.
Another personal achievement was helping mature members in their 60s and 70s, who had worked office jobs, get involved with the unit and boost their confidence in doing roles they never thought possible.
"I would never have met these amazing people in any other walk of life,” he said.
"Throughout two years of training, we have given them the confidence to get up on a roof, and even become team leaders.”
Certainly, Adam's training helped us here in the Hawkesbury when our local volunteers had to face one of the region's biggest emergencies.