|Townsville City Council supports local State Emergency Services (SES) groups, and provides funding for their operating expenses each year.
Council provides buildings, vehicles, and equipment to assist SES volunteers who train for and meet community needs.
The SES unit has training facilities and equipment ready at a number of locations:
- Green Street, West End
- Magnetic Island
- Mt Spec, Paluma
Download the Living in the North guide
Becoming an SES Member
If you're aged between 16 and 65, then the Townsville State Emergency Service is looking for your support. You will be trained in a wide range of skills, and receive professional training from qualified instructors. Training will include skills for rescues, disaster operations management, search techniques, leadership and team building.
Each year the SES holds an information night for residents interested in becoming volunteers.
The introductory night outlines what the SES expects of its members and what members can expect in return.
Those who wish to join may apply for an interview. From here, members are selected and training begins a week later. Volunteers become 'probationary' members for three months. Applications are then reviewed, prior to full membership being recommended.
Members complete an induction and then train for 10 months (training sessions held every Wednesday night and on some weekends) to complete all modules of foundation skills and Level One.
The following year, members may commence a further 18 month course to reach Level Two.
Members then have the option to undertake further training in specialist areas - land search, floodboat operations, and chainsaw operations - as well as progressing to instructor level.
SES members who move to Townsville from other parts of Queensland can transfer into this SES Unit at any time by contacting the Local Controller on 4722 0000.
Residents of rural communities who wish to become SES members should contact their nearest Group Leader:
- Bluewater (Bernie Smith) 4788 6329
- Cungulla (Local Controller) 4722 0000
- Magnetic Island (Murray Withers) 0437 188 991
- Mt Spec (Local Controller) 4722 0000
- Rollingstone (Rob Wilson) 4770 7498
Townsville SES Operations
SES members may be involved in any of the following community responses:
- Assisting residents after storms, heavy rain, cyclones and storm surges.
- Assisting in evacuation before anticipated storm surges or after cyclones and flooding.
- Establishing and managing evacuation centres.
- Searching for missing persons or conducting forensic searches on behalf of Queensland Police Service.
- Assisting in the response to a major aircraft accident, oil spill or stranded marine mammals.
- In more isolated areas - Mt Spec and Magnetic Island - responding to vehicle accidents and medical emergencies.
- Providing assistance to Queensland Ambulance Service, Queensland Fire & Rescue Authority and Queensland
- Helping the National Parks and Wildlife Service as required.
- Conducting searches on inland waterways.
- Providing air borne observers for aircraft searching over land or sea.
- Participating in appropriate community events
SES members are encouraged to complete up to four levels of modular, accredited training.
Training involves modules from public safety training packages including working in a team, communicating in the workplace, following defined workplace health and safety policies and procedures, and operating communications systems and equipment. On successful completion of this training, members can be part of a team response with a qualified team leader.
Level One Training
Includes modules on first aid, equipment maintenance, general rescue, welfare, fieldcraft, map reading and storm damage operations. On successful completion of this training, members can be part of a team response with a qualified team leader.
Level Two Training
Includes modules on general rescue, navigation, leadership, rescue from heights and depths, structural damage, land search, hazardous materials, chainsaw operations, emergency welfare, and storm operations management. Members who successfully complete this training can be designated as team leaders in an emergency operation.
Higher Level Training
Higher levels of training include specialist operator training in land search, floodboat operations, vertical rescue and chainsaw operations then further training to instructor standard.
There is provision to recognise some prior learning, but much of the above training is unique to SES.
Members are required to attend training regularly, and then to maintain their skills and current membership status. If members cease to attend regular training, their details are removed from the active callout list, and they may have to reconfirm competency before being able to take part in operations.
Any queries about SES can be directed to the Local Controller on 07 4722 0000.