'That was probably the deciding factor for me - I can get involved as much as I want to, without sacrificing my other interests and having to take time off work.'
My day job is a Computer Programmer, and I have recently joined NSW SES. I am currently doing training in Operate Communications Equipment and Storm Water Damage.
Nevertheless, I have already participated in many different SES activities including:
I really like that all these activities are so different from what I do for work.
I have always had a feeling that I can do much more than what my day job requires and that I have time and energy that I can use to help others.
I am also excited to learn new skills and meet people with similar interests, challenge myself by doing something completely new. For as long as I can remember, I've been interested in emergency services since I was a kid. The NSW SES gives me an opportunity to get involved in my free time, so I don't have to change my lifestyle. That was probably the deciding factor for me - I can get involved as much as I want to, without sacrificing my other interests and having to take time off work.
There's more than one favourite part for me. It's the people that I meet - supportive, professional, real enthusiasts of what they are doing and willing to share their knowledge and experience. It's the friendly and inclusive environment where everyone is treated equally and is given all the opportunities for development. And of course, the feeling of purpose and fulfillment! Knowing that what you are doing is helpful to others in the community.
I've only started my training this year, but have already learnt a few useful skills: how to stay safe in a constantly changing environment and assess different types of risks, correct communication equipment procedures, knots, traffic controlling, basic knowledge on flood rescue, bushfires and incident management etc.
Just try it - you may get much more than you expect. You will never have to do something that you are not comfortable with and you are the one who chooses the amount of time and effort you are ready to dedicate to your volunteering.
Interested in flexible volunteering options like Zhanna? Learn more about Volunteering