By Casey Neill and Danielle Kutchel
Wear orange, take a selfie and post with the hashtag ‘thankyouses’.
These few simple steps will mean the world to SES volunteers like the Emerald unit’s Penny Edwards on Wear Orange Wednesday, or WOW Day, on 22 May.
The campaign is designed to thank the SES members, who volunteer their time to help their communities when they need them most.
Ms Edwards joined about 10 years ago when she moved to Emerald from the western suburbs.
“I thought that would be a great way to meet people who lived in the area and make some friends,” she said.
“It’s a great way to support the community and I think everyone that’s part of our particular unit really feels a great sense of community up in Emerald.
“It’s one way they can support others during times of emergency.
“I think we’re all from fairly common ground in that regard. It gives you extra family, extended family.”
She chose the SES over other service organisations for the variety.
“We do so many things, we’re trained in so many things,” she said.
“We not only chop up trees from across roads and people’s driveways, but we can also help when trees come onto people’s houses.
“We also help police and other service in search and rescue, we do animal rescue…
“No day or job is ever the same.”
Ms Edwards said her most memorable turnout was to a fatal car crash – her first road accident.
“It was a good coming together of all the services – SES, CFA and police,” she said.
“We all rallied around and got through the job.”
She said WOW meant a lot to volunteers like herself.
“Thanks comes in many different forms,” she said.
“People wearing orange is a great way to know that we are appreciated and that people have an understanding of the work we do.”
Emerald SES Controller, Ben Owen, said the campaign would also highlight the fact that volunteers come from all walks of life and give their time to the community.
“Members have come from different backgrounds and skillsets – I’m a disability support worker. Anyone can come and be a volunteer at SES.”
As one of the busiest SES units in the state, Emerald SES is always looking for volunteers.
Mr Owen said interested members of the community should go to ses.vic.gov.au to register their interest in joining an SES branch.