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By Rowan Forster

 Pakenham’s State Emergency Service (SES) unit is in dire need of a new rescue vehicle, with the current truck having served the community for more than two decades.

The group needs to raise approximately $250,000 for the new truck, which will provide timely relief in life-threatening road crashes and devastating weather events.

Unit controller Nicole Giles-Ackaoui said the Berwick Opportunity Shop has already been at the forefront of donations, providing the volunteer-group with $212,000 since 1994.

“Both the Berwick Op-shop and our SES unit are wholly run by volunteers and as a collective we count on the community’s support to continue our work keeping our area safe,” she said.

“Our unit is made up of 30 volunteers who are often out in the dark, wind and rain making temporary repairs to properties and responding to road, rail, aircraft and industrial incidents, saving lives.

“Donations from the community and especially this donation from the Berwick Op-Shop ensure our volunteers are well respected and valued.

“It makes a real difference to our volunteers, it’s not just the financial donation but the recognition,” she said.

Like the SES, the Berwick Op-Shop is staffed entirely by 60 volunteers and raises funds for community groups who give their time to assist the community during emergencies.

To donate to the Pakenham SES and assist them in purchasing a new rescue truck, contact them at pakenham@ses.vic.gov.au.

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