SES crews inspect a fallen tree that clipped the side of a house in the South Nanango area during the November storms (Photo: Nanango SES)

October 23, 2016

The South Burnett Southern SES Unit won the award for “Regional Operational Response of the Year” at SES Week celebrations held in Gympie on Saturday afternoon.

The SES volunteers were recognised for their actions after a severe storm ripped through Nanango last November.

“The storm uprooted trees, blew roofs from their houses and destroyed windows in the south east part of Nanango,” SES Regional Manager Merrick Ilett said.

“The South Burnett Southern SES Unit arrived quickly on scene to assess the damage and help people affected, and worked with Fire and Rescue Service and the Rural Fire Service in response.

“This event showcased how the three arms of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services work seamlessly together to respond effectively to emergencies and protect communities in times of need.”

Also honoured at Saturday’s ceremony were North Coast Unit of the Year and North Coast SES Member of the Year.

Brian Lowe, from Biggenden, was named SES Regional Member of the Year for his exceptional leadership and services to the North Burnett SES Unit.

The Bundaberg SES Unit was named North Coast Region SES Unit of the Year.

Mr Ilett said the SES Week awards provided an opportunity for the community to recognise the exceptional achievements of SES volunteers across the region.

“It is thanks to the hard work and outstanding efforts of volunteers that the SES continues to be a dependable and valuable service,” he said.

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Local SES volunteers with the Regional Operational Response of the Year award (Photo: SES)
Peter Verbakel with his Assistant Commissioner’s Commendation Award (Photo: SES)

Other major local achievements at the awards ceremony included:

  • Allan Thompson, Nanango,  National Medal (15 years service)
  • Kym Gray, Nanango,  National Medal (15 years service) and also first clasp (20 years)
  • Peter Sailes, Kingaroy, received his second clasp to his National Medal (25 years)
  • Peter Verbakel, Kingaroy, received the first clasp to his Meritorious Service medal denoting 15 years of dedicated service. Peter also received the Assistant Commissioner’s Commendation award for exceptional diligence and commitment to training, operations and management of the Kingaroy SES Group


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