Shellharbour City Unit
We both wanted to get out there and help the community in any way we could and agreed NSW SES is a great way to do this.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your role within NSW SES?
We joined NSW SES in 2018 which makes us members for 2.5 years. We are both field capability members and part of the Shellharbour Operational Readiness Team (SORT) at the Shellharbour Unit. Michael is the Team Leader in charge of Boats and Water Equipment and Michelle is a Deputy Team Leader in charge of Vehicles Resources. We have been a part of this team for about a year.
Why did you join NSW SES?
We both wanted to get out there and help the community in any way we could and agreed NSW SES is a great way to do this. We have always been incredibly supportive and encouraging of each other. As a couple we have different strengths and weaknesses which complement each other, which in turn makes us a better team.
What is your favourite part about being a member of the NSW State Emergency Service?
The best thing for both of us is learning new skills and experiencing new challenges as no two jobs are the same. We also love all the new friends we have made since being at the SES. The people at the Shellharbour City Unit and other units we have had the pleasure to meet are awesome to work with and we are all there as a team to help each other along.
What are the various skills you have learnt along the way?
We have been lucky to learn a lot of varying skills in our short time here at the SES. The most important skill is probably first aid as this has taught us how to save a life. We have learnt how to use a variety of communication equipment efficiently as this is extremely important to know. We are both qualified in Storm and Water grounds and heights, Flood rescue awareness, USAR, land searches, PIARO, dealing with the public, to name a few but the most fun skill is our chainsaw crosscut qualification.
Michael has also been able to get his truck license and is a Level 1 soon to be Level 2 operator.
What advice would you give to others that are thinking to join?
Don't hesitate. Just do it! We both hesitated for a long time and wish we didn't. Instead of watching the news and wishing we were out there helping we are now out there with qualifications we never thought we would achieve and have gone from strength to strength. Joining the SES has been great for the both of us and we believe it would be great for you too.
Thinking about becoming a volunteer like Michael and Michelle, but not sure what you'd like to do?
Learn more out about our various Volunteering Roles