About us

Our mission: Volunteering to support our community in good times and emergencies

The ACT State Emergency Service (ACTSES) helps the ACT community prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters.

Made up almost entirely of volunteers, the ACTSES undertakes:

  • Community education activities, particularly in relation to storms and floods
  • Storm and flood preparation and response, including the use of flood boats
  • Land-based missing person and evidence searches in support of the Australian Federal Police (AFP)
  • Air search in support of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)
  • Urban search and rescue in support of ACT Fire and Rescue (ACT F&R)
  • The provision of portable lighting towers during emergencies
  • A range of support at community and other events.

Our 300 volunteers, based at seven Units across the ACT and the HQ Support Group, are able to provide community response to flood, storm, searches and other emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The ACTSES is part of a national network of similar services in each state and territory around Australia.

The main function of the ACTSES, under the Act Emergencies Act, is to undertake planning and response operations for storms and floods.

The ACTSES cooperates closely with other emergency including:

  • ACT Ambulance Service (ACTAS)
  • ACT Fire & Rescue (ACT F&R)
  • ACT Rural Fire Service (ACT RFS)
  • Australian Federal Police (AFP)
  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

The ACTSES also deploys volunteers to assist with national relief efforts including the Victorian Bushfires 2009, Flooding Taskforce in Hay NSW 2012, Cyclone Yasi in Queensland 2011, the NSW Hunter Region Storms in 2015 and Tropical Cycloine Debbie in 2017. ACTSES participates in national forums, conferences and workshops to ensure effective that key messages are consistent across the community.

From July 2007 to June 2017 ACTSES has responded to 15,622 requests for assistance for storm and flood. This equates, on average, to 1,562 requests for assistance per financial year over the last 10 years.

To become an ACTSES volunteer phone (02) 6207 8451 or visit the Join the ACTSES page.