“SES and rural fire is all about volunteering. Volunteering your time even during work hours and even after work hours, you are volunteering. You know you are doing something good for the community, you are not doing it for your family you are not doing it for your friends, you are doing it for the community,” says Vincent.
“When cleaning up sometimes you are putting your own life in danger, even for a fire you are not allowed to go inside. If you can save someone or save a property, you go home and you feel proud of it. Even cleaning up the community after major weather events, you go home and you are fatigued but you still feel proud that you have done something for your community. You get the respect from the community for something that you are not paid for.
To all my family and friends in the community, we have big trees in our yards that our family members grew, that our parents or grandparents grew many years ago. Some of these trees are not what they used to be. Come with a wind of 120knots 150knots those trees are going to come down, its gunna cause a lot of damage to their property and sometimes as an SES member we can’t come in and clean it up because it over a power line, roofs, and cause structural damage and it’s going to cost a lot of money to fix.
I hope some of these messages get through to some of our younger ones. At the end of the day, there is a light the end of a tunnel no matter what the struggles we go through in our community. But if we can all be in it together then we can get through this struggle.
People do complain more than help, you don’t solve these issues you make these issues worse, that’s a distraction to some of our volunteers and some do get questions and abused of why their place didn’t get cleaned up and why they didn’t do this and why they didn’t do that!
It affects us as a SES and rural fire brigade, to the people out there, if you see us coming around and we can’t get to your place we are gunna get there sooner or later it takes time, but if you can help. “If you got a chainsaw and can I help out” you’re more than welcome.
With the 10 new recruits In the SES, we got almost about 30 SES volunteers now. My advice to community members if you wanna be an SES member please sign up, the younger you are the better you are. When you’re older you know the lay of the land but if we can pass the knowledge to the younger ones – the do’s and don’ts of being an SES member and rural fire member you’re gunna gain a lot of praise at the end of the day.
You are the ones going to be looking after this place, it is not a paid job. Giving up our time, only thing we getting out of it is a big praise and a thank you. Sometimes we go home and go straight into another position like SES or Rural fire and by the time we get home, we feel so fatigued – we do not have the energy to go another day but if we got all hands on deck, we can cover all areas.”
Thank you to all our local SES members – keeping community safe
The Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council (YASC) wishes to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land within the shire boundaries – the Gunggandji and Yidinji peoples; and the area agreements developed through previous negotiations that provide clear opportunities and processes for traditional owners to be formally involved in the land planning process.
The Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council also wishes to acknowledge the historical people brought here to Yarrabah from various locations by government policies of the past.