Please find below a wonderful good news story submitted by Warwick Gibbons, Chairperson of the Coastal Districts State Emergency Service – Jurien Bay

Since adopting the State Emergency Service (SES) role, the housing of additional necessary Storm & Rescue equipment has been required. Last August 2018, we were presented with an opportunity to apply for a National Government Grant. Submissions had to be presented by, September 18 2018.

The essence of our Grant was to qualify for up to $5,000.00 towards suitable storage for both, BFB and SES equipment. (Floor area was not going to remain a practical option!) Two WA Structural Racking Companies were asked to quote on their products available.

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Well!! The wheels in motion certainly tested our staying ability, as by January 2019, not a word had been heard if we were successful. Both Suppliers continued to ask if a decision had been made, as they had set aside the Racking and Lockers in the hope that they too would also be successful. Finally, I decided to advise both that we may have missed out on Grant $’s.

Fast forward to April 02 2019 (yes, 8 months from submission date)

In a letter received from, Paul Fletcher MP. Minister for families and Social Services, he outlined that we had indeed been successful with our application………. It should be acknowledged here that, we thank our Local Federal Member for Durack, Melissa Price for going into ‘bat’ for us, due to the lengthy delay occurring.

How pleasing it is to source funding directly out of Parliament House in Canberra ACT. The months continued to tick by, April, May & June until finally all the ‘paperwork’ was to the satisfaction of those issuing the ‘Cheque’ this time out of a department in Queensland. June 30 was rapidly approaching as we had previously advised the ‘Successful Tenderer’ Instant Racking & Shelving in Geraldton, they were the preferred supplier.

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Unfortunately, due to the time ‘lapse’ they were now not in a position to assist in freighting the ‘goods’. I took advantage of an SES training course, also in Geraldton to visit with supplier and obtain Size of pallet loads to then enable us to seek quotes from local trucking companies.

You will note in the letter (supplied) from Paul Fletcher MP, the importance of the word ‘Volunteer’ – 9 mentions. Emails sent and Phone calls were made to several trucking firms, outlining our requirements. Advertising in ‘CrayTales’ pays off. Dongara Freight, a Coastal family operation were quick to reply and Yes, ‘Volunteer’ is appreciated everywhere.

The Cheque had been cleared via all banking institutions and I arranged payment direct to our supplier. Trucking Company does regular trips to Perth and, at 13:30 hrs Sunday June 30 we had ‘hands on deck’ to unload into Fire / SES Shed. Guess What, Volunteers – FOC. Yes, they Donated their Cartage and Time, Free of Charge. Very Happy !!

In anticipation of the loads arrival, I had completely ‘gutted’ the Vehicle Fire Shed, Power washed Walls and Floors, painted the rear floor area where Racking and Shelving would be assembled and come Monday, July 1 proceeded to build and fit out a New Look BFB & SES operational facility. If you have ever built Old Mecano or New age Lego, this Instant Racking is a ‘breeze’. No Bolts or Tools required, everything just pins into place.

Note here: the Protection Mesh across the rear does require ‘tech screws’ and Power Drill to complete. Shelving then slots into place, complete with supports provided. 11m wide x 3m high x 900mm deep.

Continued balance of floor painting to identify Volunteer Locker locations along with Vehicle and Trailer parking bays. Now to see if everything fits back into place ?? Training Shed had housed all the random equipment, so sorting in adaptable storage bays was made easier given the space that shelves now provide.

Now for the Locker assembly X 12 (Phillips Head Screwdriver required) otherwise all panels plus Door frames lock into place. These will house all Volunteers uniforms plus safety gear. They not only Look Good, but are very practical with additional shelving.

That completed, it only remained to finish off marked out areas of Floor painting. CANOVER VBFB Fire Truck now has designated space to allow Volunteers to access entire vehicle with ease.

Coastal Districts SES – Jurien Bay now have a Home Base and we keenly await our Special Equipment Trailer to be provided by DFES out of Geraldton.

We continue to remain a ‘satellite’ operation and will work alongside, Eneabba State Emergency Service, responding to Community Emergencies when required. By seasons end, all SES Volunteers will have completed their SES Induction training, along with majority having attended All DFES training courses over the past 12 months in, Geraldton, Kalbarri, Jurien Bay, Shark Bay and Perth outer regions. The Midwest is in quite Safe Hands as a result. Sincere Appreciation must also go to our DFES Area Officers and Volunteer Trainers based in Kalbarri. Your Patience and Years of SES service hopefully has ‘rubbed off’ on us.

A Call out to any of you considering a Volunteer role, Our Torquise Coast along Indian Ocean Drive is very well served by all the DFES organizations and at the New SES location we look forward to additional members joining us.

Warwick L Gibbons

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