Volunteers are the lifeblood of many rural towns performing vital services that otherwise could not get done. Unfortunately, in many rural areas volunteer numbers are in decline with shrinking numbers now threatening to close the doors of the Canowindra Unit of the NSW State Emergency Service.
“We are really short on members and at the moment we can’t fill a team to respond to a callout,” said Cameron Mckenzie, a volunteer of the Canowindra SES Unit. “In the storms we had last week, we needed to call in two teams from Orange, a team from Molong and a team from Eugowra. If we can’t
fill a team, people that need help could be waiting more than an hour, which is probably too late when water is running through your house.”
The NSW SES offers free training and volunteers are provided with the necessary uniforms and equipment required. “The best part about volunteering is the feeling I get from helping someone out,” Cameron said. “When everyone is panicking, you help them sort it out. You also get to meet a
lot of new people and form good friendships.”
People in Canowindra are encouraged to take part in an Open Day at the Canowindra Unit Headquarters on Sunday 13 September between 11am and 2pm. A free sausage sizzle will be provided and individuals can learn more about how they can contribute. “Unless more members of the Canowindra
community join and support their local SES Unit, it may close,” NSW SES Central West Region Controller Craig Ronan said. “Canowindra can suffer from flooding and storms, both of which can cause widespread damage. Without an SES Unit in Canowindra, the community would be worse off.”