10 May 2023

Cape York SES unit wants more volunteers to join up

| Sarah Martin
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Cooktown SES volunteers Katie Hooker, Mike Masding, Peter Symes and Liss Ernst are looking for more support.

LOCAL residents are being urged to join the Cooktown State Emergency Services to support their community and also their careers, with a fully-paid one week course giving all new recruits national public safety accreditation.

Cooktown SES controller Katie Hooker said the free training was a great perk, and the opportunity to be able to offer vital support to other emergency services and the community during a crisis was part of the reason she joined.

“Providing free services just gives me so much satisfaction; volunteering really is good for your mental health,” she said.

“We support the police with forensic searches and missing people searches and are privy to a lot of confidential information; it can be quite exciting and very rewarding.”

Long-time Trinity Beach SES member Liss Ernst, who trains and deploys with the Cooktown group when in town for work, said it was a way people could give back to the community without breaching any rules.

“It’s so hard now to just give a hand, you can’t offer firies sandwiches without having a food licence, everyone is nervous about doing the wrong thing; the SES gives us a safe way to give back without fear of the red tape,” she said.

“Training is great too, and we have the opportunity to travel for free to support other areas during an emergency.”

Cooktown’s SES group currently has eight active members, a number which Ms Hooker would like to increase.

“There are so many roles, if members don’t want to be involved in the physical side we have lots of support roles,” she said.

Visit the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services website to register your interest.

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