Community care clearly runs in the blood for new Boggabri State Emergency Service (SES) recruit Victoria Gunther – the granddaughter of unit founding member, the late Norm Patterson.
“I feel quite proud to be part of it,” Ms Gunther said. “I really wish [Norm] was still alive to see it going.”
She joined nearly a dozen more SES recruits for induction, flood awareness and communications training last weekend after answering Boggabri’s mayday call for more members.
“We didn’t want to see the unit close,” she said.
“Plus here we can meet new people, learn skills, be part of a team and help locals at the same time.”
Ms Gunther is planning to specialise in radio communications.
Joining her in the SES ranks will be partner and fellow recruit, Phillip.
“My partner also joined, we thought it would be something we could do together,” she said. “Something to help the town.”
Both are already actively involved in community service – Phillip in the bush fire brigade and Victoria on the hospital board.
Other newcomers come a variety of backgrounds including truck drivers, miners, students and a veterinary nurse.
It is a timely boost to unit membership as Boggabri was forced to call on their SES counterparts in Narrabri to assist after recent storm events. Now Boggabri will again be able to help their own.
Upcoming recruit training includes storm and water damage and first aid. Those interested in joining the SES can attend training nights held each Tuesday from 6:30-9:30pm at the Boggabri SES Headquarters.