Wear Orange Wednesday celebrates SES volunteers

The hard work of State Emergency Services (SES) units in Mandurah and across Australia is being brought into the spotlight today, with Wear Orange Wednesday honouring the efforts of tireless volunteers.

The day is a national initiative that aims to raise awareness for the hard work carried out by SES crews, and it's a day that holds a special significance for volunteers like Mandurah's Bec Burns.

Bec crossed over to the SES after years of experience with a local fire brigade in 2015, looking to expand her skill set through the training courses on offer.

"I looked it up and saw they (Mandurah SES) were a diverse unit that attends all sorts of different callouts so I thought 'hey, what a great opportunity to learn more'," she said.

"From there I haven't really looked back."

The Mandurah SES crew pitching in during the storms that hit town earlier this month. Photo: Mandurah SES/Bec Burns.

The Mandurah SES crew pitching in during the storms that hit town earlier this month. Photo: Mandurah SES/Bec Burns.

Since becoming part of the unit, like most volunteers Bec has taken on roles within search and rescue teams, attended storm damage call outs, pitched in at local events and even assisted with broader natural disasters like the 2016 Yarloop fires.

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She has also taken on the role as head of the unit's media communications.

But while she has fulfilled her desire to upskill, one thing Bec didn't anticipate was the camaraderie that comes with being part of the SES.

One of 80 active members at the Mandurah unit, and one of 2100 statewide, Bec said the friendships she had formed since signing up would last a long time.

"That's the one thing about volunteering anywhere, you meet new people and you make those new friends," she said.

"Sometimes, particularly through big storms, our callouts can last for hours and they're really long shifts, so to know you're out there with good friends helps a lot.

"Honestly, the whole process of being part of the SES has been really rewarding ever since I joined."

For more information on the Mandurah SES or to find out how you can sign up as a volunteer, visit mandurahses.org.au or call 0448 871 026.