A new location, a significant upgrade of equipment and an influx of fresh volunteers has seen the Forster Pacific Palms SES unit go from a small but dedicated group of members to a diverse and well-prepared team in the space of 12 months.
Unit commander Greg Dodd said the number of members had swelled from four to 30 since last year's bushfires and coupled with the new storm truck, punt and Isuzu utility the unit had received, it had put them in a great position to respond to any emergencies the community might face.
Mr Dodd believed the unit's new location off Grey Gum Road at Tuncurry had also made them a lot more visible in the community.
"Everybody can see us and knows we're here," he said.
"It's a big asset to have this here and we can field more jobs."
Importantly, the unit can now conduct all its training at the one location, which is helpful given the recent boost in membership.
Mr Dodd believed the devastating events of the last two years had shocked a lot of people into action.
"All the fires that have been through NSW has really opened a lot of eyes up," he said.
"In the last two years we've had the biggest storms we've ever had in the area.
"You see us go out in the storms, you see the firies go out in the fires - people didn't look at how much of an asset we were to the community."
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Fellow member, Cheryl Goodchild, said the best thing about the Forster Pacific Palms unit was that everyone got along and felt a shared sense of duty.
"Everyone is on the same wavelength of looking after the community," she said.
Mr Dodd believed the unit had never been better equipped in terms of manpower and technology, but he was quick to point out that new members were always welcome.
"As I always say, we're always looking for more members," he said.
To find out more about volunteering with the SES, click here.
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