THE community has been encouraged to get their orange on next week to show their support for the Victoria State Emergency Services (VICSES) during Wear Orange Wednesday.
Part of National Volunteer Week, May 23 is a national day of thanks for the many volunteers who support their local communities during flood, storm, landslide, road rescue, search and rescue, and more.
VICSES volunteers responded to more than 31,000 requests for assistance last year, equalling a total of 302,623 operational hours.
Locally, the 654 VICSES volunteers in the South West Region responded to 3,640 emergency events last year. Lorne and Torquay Units cover the Surf Coast and responded to a significant number of these incidents, from Mt Duneed to Kennett River.
The majority of responses were for incidents such as tree down traffic hazard, building damage, road crash rescue and flooding.
“A unit is a great place to meet new and interesting characters and we always welcome newcomers,” Lorne unit controller Phil Walsh said.
“What makes a unit so great is the diversity of members; we have accountants working alongside teachers, tradies, retirees and university students. There really is a role for everyone.”
Jan Juc local Rodney Hose has been a volunteer with the Torquay unit for eight years.
“VICSES has taken me to places and allowed me to do things I never thought I was capable of doing,” he said.
“I am part of a great team of men and women who make themselves available 24/7 to assist their community in time of need.
“The VICSES volunteer role is something I enjoy doing, there is no better feeling than going home knowing you have helped your community.”
For anyone thinking about volunteering, find out more information and register an interest at ses.vic.gov.au/volunteer.
Share a message of thanks to VICSES volunteers this WOW Day on social media using the hashtags #thankyouSES and #WOWday.