Awards ceremony honours SES volunteers

STATE Emergency Services (SES) volunteers from the north coast and south-west Queensland received top accolades at the SES Week State Awards Ceremony today.

Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey said the awards highlight the important work of frontline services, which the Newman Government promised to revitalise.

"A selection of SES volunteers from across the state who had already received regional awards have been further acknowledged with the state title in their respective categories," Mr Dempsey said.

"This SES Week we have seen how fortunate Queenslanders are to have a dedicated base of volunteers ready at a moment's notice to build a stronger and more resilient State.

"In the past year, SES volunteers have spent hours away from their homes and battled extreme conditions to commit a total of 450,000 hours of volunteer work across Queensland communities."

Mr Dempsey said the Newman Government was committed to continued support of SES volunteers.

"Labor was more concerned about bureaucracy, making it harder for frontline staff to do their job," he said.

"In contrast, we have made changes to reduce red tape to ensure SES volunteers can easily get the equipment they need.

"This government has also committed to improving SES facilities across the state, including providing $1.25 million for a new SES headquarters in Cairns."

Mr Dempsey said Stan Ryan, Local Controller of the Sunshine Coast North SES Group, was named the Queensland SES Member of the Year.

"Stan has dedicated 32 years to improving resilience and his community's ability to prepare for, and respond to, natural disasters through the development of a number of SES volunteers," he said.

"His ability to embrace change is exceptional having dedicated his own personal time and overcoming a number of challenges to merge six SES groups into one, while adapting their training and maintaining a high level of operational response capabilities."

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Lee Johnson congratulated SES groups from south-west Queensland who were also among the top recipients.

"The Wallumbilla SES Group received the Commissioner's Cup for SES Group of the Year for its ongoing response to flooding events and commitment to the recruitment and retention of volunteers," Mr Johnson said.

"The Executive Director's Shield for the Queensland SES Operational Response of the Year was awarded to the Eidsvold SES Group for its commitment to response and recovery efforts following the floods experienced as a result of ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald."

The Queensland SES is proudly supported by Major Partner NRMA Insurance.

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