They're the unpaid heroes who risk life and limb
GYMPIE region SES volunteers have received a number of awards for their "exceptional dedication” to the community as part of the Queensland SES Week celebrations which culminated at the weekend.
Recognised for their hard work were Andrew Heeb - Gympie SES Group, Martin Pool - Gympie SES Group, Mandy Price - Imbil SES Group, Tanya Easterby - Gympie SES Group, Meaghan Bentley - Tin Can Bay SES Group, and John Hall - Gympie SES Group.
A Biggenden local who moulded the North Burnett State Emergency Services Unit into one of Queensland's best has been named SES Regional Member of the Year.
Brian Lowe received the recognition during SES Week celebrations for exceptional leadership and services to the North Burnett SES Unit, which he has led since April last year.
The Unit encompasses six SES groups throughout North Burnett, and Mr Lowe has been credited with increasing its membership and profile, boosting the knowledge and skills of SES volunteers and introducing new and innovative ways to engage members.
"Brian has taken the North Burnett SES Unit from strength to strength in such a short time, and his dedication, hard work and commitment exemplifies all of the qualities of an SES volunteer,” SES North Coast Regional Manager Merrick Ilett said.
"Under Brian's leadership, the North Burnett SES Unit won the 2015 North Coast Region awards for Unit of the Year, Operation of the Year and the state award for SES Unit of the Year.
"In the last year, Brian has travelled almost 30,000km, volunteered 1260 hours of his time, delivered accredited training courses to SES members and established the North Burnett SES Local Controller's Award and North Burnett SES Members Member of the Year Award.
"He is truly a deserving winner of the 2016 Regional Member of the Year Award.” Mr Lowe's award was one of three handed out at Sunday's ceremony, with the Bundaberg SES Unit being named North Coast Region SES Unit of the Year.
"Bundaberg SES Unit has an innovative and collaborative approach to improving its business processes, including working hard to improve communication and compliance with the local government and going above and beyond expectations,” Mr Ilett said.
”This work has seen the Bundaberg SES Unit receive 13 new phones and Bundaberg Council provide and three new trailers to support operational requirements and enable better operations.
"The Unit has also developed an internal process to better utilise volunteers who have identified medical issues, launched an internally developed maintenance tool to report maintenance issues and a website to promote the Bundaberg SES Unit.”
The South Burnett Southern SES Unit was awarded Regional Operational Response of the Year for its actions in the wake of a severe storm that tore through Nanango in November last year.
"The storm uprooted trees, blew roofs from their houses and destroyed windows in the south east part of Nanango,” Mr Ilett said.
"The South Burnett Southern SES Unit arrived quickly on scene to assess the damage and help people affected, and worked with Fire and Rescue Service and the Rural Fire Service in response.
"This event showcased how the three arms of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services work seamlessly together to respond effectively to emergencies and protect communities in times of need.”
Mr Ilett said the SES Week awards provided an opportunity for the community to recognise the exceptional achievements of SES volunteers across the region.
"SES Week is a national celebration to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of the remarkable people of the SES who give up their time to assist the community,” he said.
"It is thanks to the hard work and outstanding efforts of volunteers that the SES continues to be a dependable and valuable service.”