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The State Emergency Service (SES) is the name used by a number of volunteer organisations in Australia that provide assistance during and after major incidents, such as floods, storms, cyclones, and bushfires. The SES also assist in other emergencies, such as vertical and road crash rescues, missing persons searches, and medical evacuations. In other scenarios the SES may provide a support role to other agencies, particularly police and fire. The SES is operational 24 hours a day. The SES is constituted as separate organisations operating in the various Australian states and territories. Eight of the SES organisations co-ordinate through the Australian Council of State and Territory Emergency Services (ACSES).
The states and territories are the first-level administrative divisions of the Commonwealth of Australia. They are the second level of government in Australia, located between the federal and local government tiers.
During World War II the National Emergency Service was created on 1 February 1939 to provide air raid wardens.with the organisation disbanded six months after the end of the war.
The Civil Defence Service began in Australia in 1955. It was formed as a precaution to any potential attacks on Australian soil. The name was changed to the "State Emergency Service" (abbreviated to "SES") during the 1970s, to reflect a change of emphasis into providing emergency help related to floods, storms and other natural emergencies. Every state and territory in Australia has its own State (or Territory) Emergency Service, and there are 43,000 volunteers spread across the country. Each state or territory is broken into regions, then units, and finally groups or teams.
The Civil Defence Service was a civilian volunteer organisation in Great Britain during World War II. Established by the Home Office in 1935 as Air Raid Precautions (ARP), its name was officially changed to the Civil Defence Service (CD) in 1941. The Civil Defence Service included the ARP Wardens Service as well as firemen, fire watchers, rescue, first aid post and stretcher parties. Over 1.9 million people served within the CD and nearly 2,400 lost their lives to enemy action.
A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide. Floods are an area of study of the discipline hydrology and are of significant concern in agriculture, civil engineering and public health.
A storm is any disturbed state of an environment or in an astronomical body's atmosphere especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather. It may be marked by significant disruptions to normal conditions such as strong wind, tornadoes, hail, thunder and lightning, heavy precipitation, heavy freezing rain, strong winds, or wind transporting some substance through the atmosphere as in a dust storm, blizzard, sandstorm, etc.
The SES is one of many public safety organisations using AIIMS (Australasian Inter-Service Incident Management System). Typically, small incidents (AIIMS type 1) are assigned to a 'unit' and dealt with by a 'team'. AIIMS type 2 or 3 incidents are coordinated at the regional level.
In Australia, the Australasian Inter-Service Incident Management System (AIIMS) is the nationally recognised system of incident management for the nation's fire and emergency service agencies. Organisational principles and structure are used to manage bushfires and other large emergencies utilising the all agencies approach. AIIMS was first developed in the 1980s as a derivative of the United States’ NIIMS, and is based on the principles of management by objectives, functional management and span of control. AIIMS is a trademark of AFAC and the material in the AIIMS manual and training materials is copyright of AFAC.
The Queensland State Emergency Service was established in 1975, which evolved from the Queensland Civil Defence Organisation which commenced in 1961.
The Queensland State Emergency Service (QSES) in Queensland is a volunteer based organisation of the Queensland Government and forms part of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), responsible for disaster management and as an emergency services auxiliary.
Each State Emergency Service has an Executive appointed by the Minister responsible for each state.
|Acting Commissioner||Kyle Stewart||New South Wales State Emergency Service|
|Chief Executive Officer||Stephen Griffin||Victoria State Emergency Service|
|Director||Andrew Lea, ESM||Tasmania State Emergency Service|
|Chief Officer||Chris Beattie||South Australian State Emergency Service|
|Chief Officer||Brigadier Georgeina Whelan, AM, CSC||Australian Capital Territory State Emergency Service|
|Director||Andrew Warton||Northern Territory Emergency Service|
|Assistant Director-General||Bruce Grady||Queensland State Emergency Service|
|Chief Operations Officer||Lloyd Bailey||Western Australia Department of Fire and Emergency Services|
The SES provides assistance to local communities in times of need. Because every community is different, every SES Unit has a slightly different set of roles and activities. Depending on the needs of the local community, a Unit may perform only some or all of these roles:
|Agency Support (Operational)||Supporting other Emergency Services during incidents with lighting, human resources, marine transport, and other services.|
|Agency Support (Training)||Supporting other Emergency Services, agencies, and community organisations with member participation, resources, and welfare.|
|Air Observation - Search||Assisting in searches over land and sea from both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.|
|Air Observation - Intelligence||Gathering Flood Intelligence during events, emergency evacuation, remote area resupply, Reconnaissance of Flood and Storm effected areas.|
|Air Support Operations||Providing ground support for Emergency Aircraft Operations, notably the filling of water bomber aircraft during bushfire events.|
|Building Impact||Minor USAR operations caused by motor vehicles crashing into buildings. SES units provide shoring to these buildings and temporary building stabilisation.|
|Communication Support Unit||Provide communications support in difficult terrains. Install repeater radios and portable antennas. Co-ordinate other SES teams. Members are also trained to carry out the functions of other SES units.|
|Crowd and/or Traffic Control||Assisting police and ambulance at public events like ANZAC Day in this capacity. Also assisting police with road closures during events like flooding and New Year celebrations.|
|Emergency services liaison||Working with representatives of other emergency services during emergencies.|
|Evacuation Centre Management||Establishing and running temporary evacuation centres.|
|Fire Support & Training||Assisting the police and the rural and metropolitan fire services with road closures, evacuations, delivery of welfare during major fires, and some training like First Aid and Chainsaw Operations.|
|First Aid||Aiding members of the public requiring basic medical aid and assisting ambulance officers and members of St. John Ambulance of Australia with triage and mass casualty situations|
|Flood and storm preparation and response||Making temporary repairs and protecting property after floods and storms, helping people prepare for floods and storms and using specialised equipment like flood boats and chainsaws.|
|General rescue procedures and skills||Working safely to remove people from dangerous situations|
|Land Search||Searching for missing persons usually in both rural and suburban areas. Land search ranges from street based searches, to scrub and woodland areas as well as mountain rescue.|
|Management||Team which fill the administration roles at a unit level|
|Marine Rescue||Working with the Coast Guard and other marine organizations in assisting boats in distress|
|Media, public relations and community education||Working with the media and the public to communicate safety messages and warnings and to promote the SES to the community|
|Mines Rescue||Some SES units have specific training to allow them to rescue trapped persons from inside collapsed mines|
|Road-crash rescue||Providing mechanical intervention to crashed vehicles and extricating injured persons.|
|Swiftwater Rescue||Rescue/recovery of persons trapped in inland waterways or floodwater with skills applicable to fast-flowing water.|
|Training coordination||Helping to plan and carry out the training in a Unit. Nationally recognised subjects and courses are available to members.|
|Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)||Extending basic rescue techniques to situations such as collapsed or unstable structures, using specialised equipment such as after bombs or explosions|
|Vertical rescue||Rescuing people from heights and depths such as cliffs or ravines|
|Tsunami & earthquake response||Responding to and managing tsunami and earthquake events|
|Welfare||Providing and administrating temporary field bases for activations, including meals, peer support, teas & coffees etc. The SES also runs a "driver reviver" scheme that aims to reduce accidents caused by fatigued drivers.|
In addition to funds provided through legislation to the SES by state and local governments, SES groups also supplement their financial resources with donations made by individuals and businesses, and through other government grants. These donations typically contribute to purchasing or maintaining group equipment, such as vehicles and tools, or to improvement of SES property and facilities.
OKA Australia was an Australian company that manufactured all terrain vehicles, particularly four wheel drive trucks and tour buses. OKA is currently owned by the OZTerrain Pty Ltd since 2017.
The Returned and Services League, Australia (RSL) is a support organisation for men and women who have served or are serving in the Defence Force.
A volunteer fire department (VFD) is a fire department composed of volunteers who perform fire suppression and other related emergency services for a local jurisdiction.
The Government Radio Network (GRN) is the umbrella term used to refer to various systems in place across Australia that enable statewide trunked radio communication. The network operates through inter-linked sites for government and public services such as police, ambulance, fire, or roads authorities which require such a system to function properly. The main aim of the GRN is to consolidate all resources into one network, ensuring greater coverage and reliability than if each department had its own independent communication system. The existence of the GRN also reduces the amount of government money and resources needed to maintain communication between units of emergency and public service branches. Last, it allows effective intercommunication among these services in times of national or state emergency for coordination of wide-scale actions.
The Volunteer Rescue Association Inc (VRA) is an Australian organisation of volunteer members, they provide rescue to the communities across New South Wales. The first rescue squads, with the assistance of NSW Police formed the Volunteer Rescue Association, groups with common charters can become an affiliate of the Association.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia is one of the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisations in the world. It provides emergency and primary health care services for those living in rural, remote and regional areas of Australia. It is a non-profit organisation which provides health care to people who cannot access a hospital or general practice due to the vast distances of the Outback.
Responsibilities for traditional coast guard duties in Australia are distributed across various federal, state and community agencies. The de facto coast guard of Australia is the Maritime Border Command, a joint command of the Australian Defence Force and the Australian Border Force which works alongside the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. Each state and territory government have specific maritime safety agencies and police marine units. In addition, there are several private volunteer coast guard organisations which act as auxiliary search and rescue services and maritime safety educators with the largest organisations being the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol established in 1937, the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard established in 1961, and Marine Rescue New South Wales established in 2009.
Law enforcement in Australia is one of the three major components of the country's justice system, along with courts and corrections. There are law enforcement officers employed by all three levels of government – federal, state / territory, and local.
The South Australian Country Fire Service is a volunteer based fire service in the state of South Australia in Australia. Many parts of Australia are sparsely populated whilst at the same time they are under significant risk of bushfire. Due to economics, it is prohibitively expensive for each Australian town or village to have a paid fire service (department). The compromise adopted is to have government funded equipment and training but volunteer fire-fighters to perform the duties of regular fire-fighters.
The New South Wales Rural Fire Service is a volunteer-based firefighting agency and statutory body of the Government of New South Wales.
St John Ambulance Australia (SJAA) is a self-funding charitable organisation dedicated to helping people in sickness, distress, suffering or danger. It is part of an international organisation that consists of eight Priories that form the Order of St John. The organisation is sometimes incorrectly referred to as "St John's Ambulance" instead of "St John Ambulance".
New South Wales Ambulance, an agency of the Ministry of Health of the New South Wales Government, is the statutory provider of pre-hospital emergency care and ambulance services in the state of New South Wales, Australia.
Fire and Rescue NSW, an agency of the Government of New South Wales, Australia, is responsible for firefighting, rescue and hazmat services in the major cities, metropolitan areas and towns across rural and regional New South Wales. Fire and Rescue NSW is the seventh largest urban fire service in the world, with over 6,800 firefighters serving at 335 fire stations throughout the state, supported by 465 administrative and trades staff and 5,700 community fire unit volunteers. FRNSW are also the busiest fire service in Australia, attending over 124,000 incidents a year and undertaking 52,000 community activities in 2017/18.
As firefighting has a rich history throughout the world, traditions in this profession vary widely from country to country.
The New South Wales State Emergency Service, an agency of the Government of New South Wales, is an emergency and rescue service dedicated to assisting the community in times of natural and man-made disasters. The NSW SES is made up almost entirely of volunteer members, numbering over 9,000 as of June 2018. Members are easily identified by their distinctive orange overalls.
Civil Defence Ireland is the national civil defence organisation of Ireland. It is operated at local authority level in conjunction with the Department of Defence.
NSW SES Bush Search and Rescue (previously known as Bush Search and Rescue NSW, Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue Squad and Bushwalkers Search and Rescue is a remote and rugged area land search and rescue service in New South Wales, Australia established on 27 November 1936. BSAR NSW is a wholly volunteer operated, self funded incorporated association and a specialist squad of the Volunteer Rescue Association.
Emergency medical services in Australia are provided by state ambulance services, which are a division of each state or territorial government, and by St John Ambulance in both Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Emergency Management in Australia is a shared responsibility between the Government appointed body - Emergency Management Australia and local councils
The 2010–2011 Queensland Flood and Cyclone Citation is a state decoration established by the Governor-of-Queensland-in-Council in 2011.
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