Posted by Ian Ballantine on Jan 20, 2021
This morning was our first meeting for the 2021 calendar year. Our guest speakers were Andrew Litwinow and Sara Johnson from the Moorabbin SES
WELCOME BACK! HAPPY NEW YEAR! Last week 29 of us met again on Zoom, and this week we shall try and meet face-to-face! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULIE. We hope your coming year will be filled with positive aspirations, good health and sharing wonderful times with friends and family. Pres. Geoff on his way from here to there welcomed us warmly and remarked how good it would be to meet together at Buckingham International 21st January. He talked about the Australia Cluster gathering at Karkarook Park. The thought is that getting back to “normal” we will look at what we can do and achieve. Helen has updated our speaker program which can be found on the website.. She also told us that there is discussion re hoping to meet again at Cilantro.   Helen introduced our Guest Speakers, Sara Johnson and Andrew Litwinow from VICSES. Andrew began by thanking us profusely for the donation our club gave towards a new vehicle which costs between $150,000 - $250,000! Fundraising is very difficult and our donation was most helpful. SES members are all volunteers in the field supported by paid members. VICSES Moorabbin receives requests for assistance in relation to Storm damage, Building damage, Fallen trees on buildings and roads,   Community education, Assisting Police in searches, Assists Police in crime scene preservation and lighting, Flood rescue/sandbagging, Assisting other SES Units in need, Provided support to other Emergency Services as required. Andrew gave us suggestions how and when to call SES. If there is danger call triple 000. If one is seeking help in a flood or storm because a tree has caused structural damage to home or car, or there is damage to your roof or leaking significantly or a large branch or tree has fallen, preventing exit or entrance to you home. Having called VICSES on 132500, the request for assistance will be logged by our 24/7 call center. A local volunteer may make contact for further details. The advice is before a storm we need to keep cars under cover such as car ports or garage and kept away from trees. Gutters, downpipes and drains should be kept clean and check that loose items such as outside umbrellas, trampolines and outdoor furniture are secure and make sure there is a safety plan. We were informed that a car can float in just 15cm of water! There are 149 SES units in Victoria with 102 specialist teams. VICSES are the control agency for flood, storm, tsunami, earthquake and landslide throughout Victoria and provides the largest road rescue network in Australia. There are 43,300 SES volunteers in Australia. Sara explained of the importance sending out messages, to share posts, and to be proactive so messages can be understood. There are Open Days sharing with Police, Ambulance and Fire Brigade because cannot always reach the public by social media but need to meet personally. There is a need to work with schools and to connect with politicians to spread the word for more volunteers and get the word out in the world as to what we do. Young people can get training and apprentices in electrical studies are able to use the knowledge not only in the SES unit but in the wider world. Now when we see news items of the people in orange helping rescuing people we now understand that these rescuers are volunteers often risking their lives for us. Goodness! Thank you Sara and Andrew for being with us on Zoom and we are grateful for the overview and insight and the time you have given us so early in the morning. You are most certainly the unsung heroes! Helen read out the rosters and we shall meet in the Royal Room at 7:00 am on Wednesday 27th January. BE SAFE; BE WELL, and remember ROTARY OPENS OPPORTUNITIES.
Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)