What you need to know

Ready for anything

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In storms, floods or other natural disasters, when specialist rescue assistance is required or if support is needed by other emergency service organisations, Victoria State Emergency Service is on the job.

Every hour of every day, the volunteers of VICSES Essendon are ready, willing and able to help our community.

The 45-strong unit – established in 1981 – responds to more than 350 requests for assistance each year. Volunteers range in age from 21 to 78, and about half are women.

Pandemic restrictions and a unit redevelopment have temporarily limited their ability to recruit and train, but there are still ways for people to get involved.

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“With COVID-19 we have lost 95 per cent of our fundraising this year,” Essendon Unit Controller John Bates said. “While we receive some support from the state, it only covers about half of our operating expenses and restricts investment in future equipment and vehicles. If people or businesses want to support us either with a monetary or in-kind donation they can contact us at essendon@ses.vic.gov.au.”

VICSES is encouraging residents to ready themselves for wetter than usual conditions this summer. “We encourage residents and business owners to be prepared,” Mr Bates said. “Understand your property’s flood risk, check your insurance coverage, and clean your gutters and drains of debris.”

The State Emergency Service is running its 15 to Float campaign again this year about the risk of driving through floodwater. More information about protecting yourself from floods and the risk of driving through floodwaters can be found here.

To keep up to date with local information, follow VICSES Essendon on Twitter and Facebook.