EDITORIAL: In awe of our SES volunteers after a gruelling start to 2022

Headshot of Liam Croy
Liam CroyAlbany Advertiser
An SES volunteer climbing Mt Toolbrunup.
Camera IconAn SES volunteer climbing Mt Toolbrunup. Credit: Albany SES/RegionalHUB

From toiling through the night to rescue a hiker on Bluff Knoll to the delicate recovery of a body from a towering coastal cliff — our local SES volunteers are true champions of the community.

The start to 2022 has been unlike any other period in recent memory for these unsung and unpaid heroes.

What they have done since their first call-out to Bluff Knoll on New Year’s Day is nothing short of incredible.

Two hiker rescues, two land searches, a vertical recovery and a bushfire in the heart of Albany have tested the endurance and commitment of these otherwise ordinary men and women.

And they have passed that test with flying colours.

The emergencies have taken place in some of the most rugged locations in WA, from the two highest peaks in the Stirling Range National Park to the imposing cliffs in West Cape Howe National Park.

Two of them have ended in tragedy, with the deaths of two young men.

But the volunteers just keep turning out, ready and willing to donate their time and capabilities to the next person who needs help.

What an example they set for the rest of us and how lucky we are to have them.

As journalists who are paid to report on emergencies, we get some insight into what these volunteers do for free.

Their workload so far this year has been mind-boggling.

Like our volunteer firefighters and ambulance officers, they don’t ask for recognition but they deserve it.

To our SES volunteers — we see what you’re doing and we’re blown away.

Thank you.

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