Nyngan SES are looking for new volunteers to join their ranks

A CAREER: Nyngan SES unit commander Trish Orchard says the volunteer organisation is much more than helping people. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN
A CAREER: Nyngan SES unit commander Trish Orchard says the volunteer organisation is much more than helping people. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN

For Nyngan unit commander Trish Orchard, the State Emergency Service (SES) is not just helping people through devastating situations, it's a career.

While the volunteer organisation has been closed in Nyngan for almost two years, Ms Orchard moved to Nyngan in January 2018 tasked with opening the unit, and moving it into the emergency precinct alongside the Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW units.

"My vision for the new unit, new equipment, new people and we need some new volunteers," she said.

Currently the Nyngan unit has nine volunteers, yet Ms Orchard is hoping to grow this to over 16 members.

"At the moment we're focused on getting the Nyngan unit up to a level where we can respond to emergencies that involve storm or floods, and making sure the new members that come on board are trained up in various skills," she said.

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"I want to give the SES back to the Nyngan community ... we've had some wonderful locals coming in and we'll be actively recruitment for more specific types of jobs that are coming in."

In the coming months, it is anticipated the SES unit will undertake scenario based training alongside the other emergency service units in Nyngan to improve the skills of volunteers.

"Two of our members are NSW Ambulance so we've been able to gain some of their experience, but also do some ambulance assist callouts," Ms Orchard said.

"My overall mission here is to get the emergency services working together, they already do a wonderful job but I think we can add a little more shine to that job we're already doing," Ms Orchard said.

The unit commander was inspired to join the SES following the 2011 floods in Queensland where almost 80 lives were lost and mass destruction left her feeling "useless".

"The SES were the first ones to ask me what I wanted from the SES, I was prepared to give whatever I could, but they asked what I could get which was and that was quite powerful," she said.

After almost nine years volunteering her time, Ms Orchard said the organisation has a number of pathways for careers.

"I've gone through learning and development courses and I now train and assess various courses with the SES, I've been through leadership courses, there's just so much opportunity," Ms Orchard said.

"My only regret is I should have done it in my 30s, I shouldn't have left it until I was 50. But it's been a wonderful journey ... in all sorts of ways it's been supportive and it makes you a better person."

"Volunteering is helping others with their issues, you're not sitting at home dwelling on your issues, you're giving back and I find that very comforting to know I've had a small part to play in someone's recovery from disaster."

The official opening of the new SES building will take place on Saturday, November 30 at 11am. The unit will also get the official hand over of a brand new vehicle for Nyngan.

For anyone aged 16 and above wishing to volunteer should head to the SES website.