People from the Kimberley to the Great Southern are encouraged to wear orange on Wednesday 20 May 2020 in appreciation of the more than 2,000 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers in Western Australia.
Wear Orange Wednesday (WOW Day) is a national day of thanks for SES volunteers who protect and support the community during natural disasters such as storms, cyclones and floods, and with land searches, vertical rescues, road crashes and bushfires.
All Western Australians are asked to show their support of SES volunteers by wearing orange at home, in the workplace, at school or wherever they will be on 20 May 2020. People taking part can show their support for the SES volunteers by sharing their orange outfit on their social media platforms and using the hashtag #ThankYouSES.
Several landmarks will be dressed in orange on the day including the Matagarup Bridge, Bell Tower and Yagan Square in Perth, as well as buildings in regional WA including Busselton, Geraldton, Karratha and Kalgoorlie.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM said SES volunteers had stepped up during the past few months for COVID-19 operations with the same sense of civic duty and commitment they have always shown.
“Alongside attending the usual storm damage and land searches, the SES has also helped manage the road blocks on Intrastate borders and contacted people in self-isolation to assist the Department of Communities,” Commissioner Klemm said.
“Thank you to our SES volunteers for their unwavering commitment and personal sacrifices they make every day to keep the WA community safe.”
The unprecedented impact of COVID-19 has meant SES units have had to take a more innovative approach to their training. Wanneroo/Joondalup SES volunteer Steve Faulkner has overcome the challenge by moving training for 65 Quinns Rocks SES Cadets online.
“We have been learning survival techniques by building survival kits with items the Cadets have around the house and each week we talk about the importance of each part and how to use it,” Mr Faulkner said.
“Our weekly training is also being live-streamed and posted to our Facebook group so the Cadets can re-watch it or catch up.
“The next generation of volunteers are dedicated and passionate, with a few of our senior Cadets even helping build activities to do together online.”
The SES has more than 2,000 members across 65 units supporting WA communities throughout the State. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with the SES visit the emergency services volunteer recruitment website or contact your local SES unit.