The SES also cooperates closely with other statutory emergency services and has storm and flood relief as responsibilities under ACT Government legislation. The SES is a versatile and highly active volunteer emergency service organisation. While the primary role of the SES is to respond to incidents involving floods and storms, it also provides crucial support and assistance to other emergency service organisations.
Some of the tasks undertaken by the SES are:
- Flood and storm response to the community,
- Lighting tower for emergencies and support to other emergency services,
- Traffic direction and marshalling for incidents and events,
- Land search in support of the police,
- Air search in support of AUSSAIR,
- Urban search and rescue support to the Fire Brigade, and
- Flood rescue boats.
ACTSES is the lead emergency services organisation during a flood. Volunteers may be required to control traffic in flood affected areas, pump out basements and other flooded structures, evacuate dwellings and numerous other tasks that arise.
ACTSES operates two flood rescue boats. Whilst their functions are primarily flood rescue, they may be used for virtually any water-based support function as required. If large-scale flooding occurs it is likely to extend across the border into surrounding NSW and for this reason their use in this type of operation is most likely to be in support of the NSW SES. During flood operations SES tasks are to:
- Provide the lead, command and control of the ACT emergency agencies flood response
- warn the community of impending flooding,
- advise the community on how to prepare for the flood and assist where possible,
- evacuate where necessary,
- ensure evacuees are looked after,
- rescue anyone who is trapped,
- resupply isolated communities, and
- assist evacuees to return home.
Storm and Tempest Response
Storm damage operations are one of the most frequent operational tasks confronting the ACTSES. During storm damage control operations, tasks are to:
- warn the community of impending storms
- rescue anyone who is trapped or arrange for them to be rescued,
- make the situation safe,
- prevent further damage by erecting tarpaulins, doing temporary repairs etc, and
- provide householders access to their doors and driveway by clearing fallen trees and other debris etc.
Other ACTSES Tasks
Other tasks which Units take part in are community support and public displays. Units help at local festivals and shows, fetes, street parades and special events. These activities provide good training in organising, teamwork and communication and are excellent for public relations. Some of them also provide funds to help run the Units, as organisers are encouraged to make a donation, particularly if the event is commercially run.