Albany thanks SES volunteers quick to answer call after storm

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Albany SES volunteers Jared Marsh, Gary Logan, Dennis Noakes, Scott Larking, Carol Logan and Bec Hopkins.
Camera IconAlbany SES volunteers Jared Marsh, Gary Logan, Dennis Noakes, Scott Larking, Carol Logan and Bec Hopkins. Credit: Albany SES

These are the faces of some of the Albany SES volunteers who sprung into action and put their daily lives on hold to clean up our city after a storm smashed the south coast on June 21.

Our local team of 68 volunteers were supported by crews from across the South West and Perth working until Thursday to attend to more than 174 requests for assistance.

Local volunteers worked through the night on Sunday as calls for help escalated to more than 90, with streets flooded and trees toppled in one of the most destructive storms Albany residents have seen in decades.

Albany SES manager Robert Boyes said he was proud of his team for showing up when their community needed them most.

From fixing roofs to preparing paperwork, co-ordinating communications and feeding the team, everyone’s role was important in ensuring recovery ran smoothly.

“I’m extremely proud of what they do,” he said.

Denise Johnson and Robert Boyes.
Camera IconDenise Johnson and Robert Boyes. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

“They don’t surprise me because they do get very well trained and it is wonderful to see them putting their training into practice.”

Despite the hectic start to winter, it was business as usual when the crew met for weekly training on Monday night.

“These things come through in waves, you get hammered and you get a bit of a respite and then you hope it is a while until the next one comes,” he said.

“We are on the tools 24/7, 12 months a year.”

Mr Boyes said the community had shown their gratitude over the past week.

“We’ve had random people pulling up in the carpark and sending their daughter out with a great big box of muffins she’d made and giving us a box of chocolates because they didn’t know what else to do,” he said.

A team repairs a damaged roof after the storm.
Camera IconA team repairs a damaged roof after the storm. Credit: Albany SES

With more rain forecast, Mr Boyes urged the community to keep their gutters clean and remain patient if they call for assistance.

“You can never anticipate what is going to happen so it is very hard to be entirely prepared,” he said.

“But you can take some simple steps like keeping your gutters cleaned out.

“We do get a lot of calls when people have water leaking through their ceiling and it is only because people haven’t cleaned their gutters.

“Cleaning out your gutters is much easier than replacing your ceiling.”

People interested in joining Albany SES can attend training at 6.30pm on Mondays at the team’s Sanford Road base. Volunteers of any background are welcome.

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