Get Ready Lane Cove, with the Willoughby – Lane Cove SES Unit!

    The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is here to help with information on how to prepare and to provide emergency assistance, during storms, floods and tsunami. Our local unit is Willoughby – Lane Cove, based out of Naremburn, with three emergency response vehicles and approximately 70 volunteer members.

    SES Members are Volunteers

    Everyone at the unit volunteers their time at the SES as well as working for a living and looking after their families. All the volunteers are from the local community who work or live in the area. We want to introduce a few members so that you can see the wide variety of backgrounds, skill sets and interests within the Willoughby – Lane Cove team.

    Jonathan lives near St Leonards and has been a volunteer member of Willoughby – Lane Cove SES for five years. He is the invaluable co-ordinator of the Incident Management team, which is responsible for managing the operation, including organising teams to tackle emergency jobs, usually during storms and often at night. When not at the SES, Jonathan runs his own accounting practice in Chatswood. In his spare time, he is interested in Japanese sports cars and playing tennis, and is fluent in Cantonese (Chinese).

    Jonathan with Paddy, the SES mascot

    Yolanda joined the SES towards the end of last year and is already having fun and an active member of the team. She lives in Castlecrag and enjoys weekends up in the Blue Mountains and surrounding National Parks. Yolanda works full time as an Archaeologist and Cultural Heritage Consultant and is also studying Conservation and Land Management, so she enjoys being outdoors, even in storms! ​ Her other interests include basketball, bush regeneration and overly ambitious jigsaw puzzles.

    Yolanda at her day job

    Darren lives in Lane Cove and he has been a Team Leader for many of the jobs in the 11 years he has been with the SES. His specialist SES training includes Storm and Water Damage Operations, Height Safety Systems, Chainsaw and Flood Rescue.  So, you’ll often see him on a chainsaw making safe fallen trees or up on the roof making temporary emergency repairs. He is an Electrical Engineer and enjoys teaching Tae-kwon-do.


    SES Members Help Out Wherever Needed

    Although the local SES volunteers’ primary response area is the Willoughby and Lane Cove Local Government areas, SES volunteers can and do travel, to assist other units within NSW and Interstate. Earlier in 2020 four local SES volunteers deployed down to the NSW South Coast bushfire areas to assist with making safe dangerous trees or clearing access roads blocked by downed trees and visiting homes for welfare checks. In July three Willoughby – Lane Cove SES volunteers assisted the Ulladulla SES with storm damage and flooding.

    Get Ready for Summer Storms

    As it is approaching the summer storm season (October to March), it’s time to Get Ready for Storms Lane Cove! Some simple steps such as ensuring that gutters are clean, branches are cut back from your home, your roof is in good condition and checking downpipes and external drains are not blocked or covered will help prevent emergencies during storms.  The majority of calls to the Willoughby – Lane Cove SES during periods of significant rain are often due to internal leaking and flooding caused by poor maintenance. The risk to your property can be reduced by being proactive and being prepared. With hundreds of requests for assistance coming into the Willoughby – Lane Cove SES at once during severe storms, Let’s Get Ready together Lane Cove!

    To protect your personal safety during storms, you should avoid two other risky behaviours;

    1. never walk or drive into floodwaters – the Willoughby – Lane Cove SES unit has flood rescue operators and a floodwater rescue raft. Still, the SES volunteer members would very much prefer not to have to risk their own lives using it.
    2. If trees or branches have come down, they may have brought down power lines with them. You must stay at least 8 metres away from power lines until deemed safe. For power lines, please report these by calling Ausgrid on 131 388.

    When to Call The SES

    For emergency assistance in floods or storms call the SES on 132 500
    For life-threatening emergencies call 000
    For power lines down call Ausgrid on 131 388

    Our cover photo was taken before COVID19 social distancing requirements.

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