Author Topic: SES familiarisation thread  (Read 93125 times)

Offline CFS_Firey

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SES familiarisation thread
« on: September 26, 2006, 05:03:50 PM »
OK, some SES guys and girls on this forum would like the other emergency services to better understand the SES and what they do.
This thread is an opportunity for the SES to talk about what they do, so we can better understand them! (Simple eh?)

So anyone can ask questions, and the SES can answer them... I'll start with a few...


  • How much is the SASES different from the SES in the other states, and what resources do they share?
  • How big is the SASES (how many volunteers, paid staff, units, appliances etc)
  • What courses do the SES run, and offer
  • How are SES units responded to incidents (Do they ever respond in private cars?)
  • What ranks are there within Units, and how can we tell who is senior? (Different coloured helemts?)
  • Do SES Units have specialisations (like the CFS has Rescue, or Hazmat) and how many of these specialised units are there? (eg, SACFS has 34 HAMZAT and 66 RCR brigades, out of 434)
  • What is the average number of calls an SES unit gets in a year (Pip has said over 50% of CFS brigades get less than 20 calls)


Please keep this thread as informative as possible with no put downs or anti-SES comments (I'll edit your posts if you're mean!)...
Thanks

Toast

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2006, 05:10:53 PM »
Are the SES similar to the CFS in terms of a few *very* busy, multi skilled 'units', and a whole heap of other, far less busy, maybe not so skilled ones?

Why do you care about tree jobs so much?


PF_

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2006, 05:44:36 PM »
IS SES anything like the SAS?

The beards and secrecy surrounding what exaclty they do.  I think Im onto this so called volunteer agency   8-):x (close enough to a cynical narrowed eyes emoticon, it is not mean to be angry)

Offline bittenyakka

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2006, 05:47:20 PM »
Keep it ontopic

Do any members of the SES find themselvs responding to clean up treas on houses of people who are not responsible enough to keep their houses in proper condition? ie being a free garden clean up service.

Offline squiddy

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2006, 06:09:46 PM »
Thanks for the thread, CFS_FIREY, I think it will be good to break down some of the barriers between agencies through education  :mrgreen:

How much is the SASES different from the SES in the other states, and what resources do they share?


Each state governs their own SES, and roles vary from state to state. However, the roles can also vary from metro to rural areas, just as in SA. In a lot of states, SES is largely involved with flooding, storm and salvage and searches.

How big is the SASES (how many volunteers, paid staff, units, appliances etc)

According to the SES, there are 1938 volunteers. There are 36 paid staff.
OK... heirarchy as far as paid staff goes is as follws. It is a little confusing, so try to stay with me. There is the Chief Officer, and he has an executive PA and an executive project officer. The EPO has an operational admin officer and a corporate admin officer under them. Under the CO is the Deputy CO. He is responsible for each region. Each region has a Regional Commander, Senior Regional Officer, Training Officer, Business Support Officer and Admin Officer. Under the CO is also the Manager for Assets and Infrastructure, Manager for Training and Development, Business Manager, Manager of Corporate Communications and the Manager for Volunteer Marine Rescue (who is in charge of the VMR squadrons). There is also a State Planning Officer, State Training Officer and an Admin Officer.
Hope you got all that.

There are 68 SES units across SA, and I am unsure of the number of vehicles. Smaller units sometimes have less vehicles, and larger units sometimes have more. Generally everyone gets a rescue truck and at least 1 4WD.

What courses do the SES run, and offer?

First course to do is Basic Rescue. It is pretty much a prerequisite for everything else. From there, SES offers Advanced Rescue 1&2, Advanced Rescue Shoring, Air Observing, GRN & Basic Comms, Chainsaw Operations & Safety, Dropmaster, Leadership, Land Search & Rescue, Mapreading & Navigation, Recconaissance, RCR, Storm Damage Operations, Train Small Groups, USAR Category 1&2, Vertical Rescue (all levels), Workplace Assessment.

How are SES units responded to incidents (Do they ever respond in private cars?)

Some units have a Duty Officer that gets a page and then responds unit members to taskings. Other units all just respond with pagers. We arrive at the LHQ and get in vehicles. Sometimes crew will respond in private vehicles if they are nearby, but not often.

What ranks are there within Units, and how can we tell who is senior? (Different coloured helemts?)

Unit rankings are as follows:
Unit Manager
Deputy Unit Manager
Rescue Officer
Deputy Rescue Officer
Business Manager
Training Officer
Deputy Training Officer
Comms Officer
Equipment Officer
Welfare Officer
Team Leaders
Rescue Crew

Officers wear epaulettes on their shoulders. I don't have the full list of these on me atm, so I will let you know when I get it.

Do SES Units have specialisations (like the CFS has Rescue, or Hazmat) and how many of these specialised units are there? (eg, SACFS has 34 HAMZAT and 66 RCR brigades, out of 434)

Yes. There are specialised USAR, Confined Space, Vertical and RCR units. The 13 metro units do not do RCR. All 55 rural units are RCR. I know that Sturt, TTG and Mt Barker (soon apparently) are all USAR. Noarlunga does Confined Space and there are a few units who do vertical.

What is the average number of calls an SES unit gets in a year (Pip has said over 50% of CFS brigades get less than 20 calls)

While a lot of metro units do loads of storm and flood work, there are a few rural units who are lucky to make 10 calls a year. If you want exact numbers, go check out the SES annual report for last year http://www.ses.sa.gov.au/aboutses/aboutses/pdfs/ANNUAL%20REPORT%20MASTER%202004-05.pdf.

Hope that helps.

Toast

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2006, 06:22:17 PM »
And someone said the SES had the monopoly on RCR and confined space *shakes head*

[Mod note]I said no SES bashing!  Be positive young and caring man!

There is a difference between punching holes in an argument and bashing.

Stop abusing your modrights
« Last Edit: September 26, 2006, 06:54:52 PM by Toast »

Offline squiddy

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2006, 06:26:32 PM »
And someone said the SES had the monopoly on RCR and confined space *shakes head*

Actually, what was said was that CFS only has the monopoly on firefighting and HAZMAT. Nothing was said about SES having a monopoly on confined space and RCR. And those are not the final statistics, by the way... that was a quick answer of a question. If you would like a full list of who does what, I would be more than happy to provide each unit's specialisations later in the week.

Offline squiddy

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2006, 06:31:28 PM »
The reverse in implied :wink:

You're on then, mate  :mrgreen: Full list of each SES unit's specialisations by the end of the week and you can give us a full list of CFS brigades specialisations.

Offline bajdas

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2006, 06:44:37 PM »
Do any members of the SES find themselvs responding to clean up treas on houses of people who are not responsible enough to keep their houses in proper condition? ie being a free garden clean up service.

YES....new procedures within the MFS ComCen and SES SCC ComCen mean that if the call-taker determines that the tree is down and safe, or that the water flood is from blocked gutters, then no Unit will be dispatched.

Call is logged as 'no response'.

The caller will be advised to contact a home maintenance firm.

Difficult when the caller gets angry or is old & infirm.

Sometimes the Duty Officer of the local Unit is telephoned & requested that a recce be performed before a full crew is dispatched.

these are generally P4 jobs (at discretion of volunteers time).
Andrew Macmichael
lives at Pt Noarlunga South.

My personal opinion only.

Toast

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2006, 06:57:26 PM »
How is it possible that the SES get turned out from MFS for a P1/P2 (both lights and sirens I have been led to believe) response, yet the may not be out the door for some time?

Do they have a specified default time like CFS does? Not just for RCR but for all jobs?

Offline bajdas

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2006, 07:04:27 PM »
Also to debunk a myth that I think still exists regards to Flooding response. Since before & after Virginia Floods several extras in the PREVENTION measures have been actioned by SES.

Hopefully this means we ALL will be more worried about evacuations & flood rescue rather than filling sandbags during the next flood event.

The initiatives include:
* flood maps of metropolitan council areas created.
* weather stations with internet output via computer, installed in some SES LHQ's. Work continues with BoM on more automated stations.
* councils to have pallets of filled sand-bags has a constant stock-on-hand, with agreement for them to be delivered by council whenever the needs arises. For example, City of Holdfast Bay agreed after Glenelg flooding & discussions have been held with Pt Pirie. I believe SES Metro South also have a filled bags stock-on-hand.
* flat-bed truck with tailgate lifter delivered to Northern Districts SES. I believe more are planned.
* high volume flood pumps have been delivered to metro Units.
* operations control on AIIMS lines being delivered by CFS to SES personnel. Seminars have already been held for officers.

Hopefully this means the days of sandbag filling are smaller.
Andrew Macmichael
lives at Pt Noarlunga South.

My personal opinion only.

Offline bajdas

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2006, 07:12:38 PM »
How is it possible that the SES get turned out from MFS for a P1/P2 (both lights and sirens I have been led to believe) response, yet the may not be out the door for some time?

Do they have a specified default time like CFS does? Not just for RCR but for all jobs?

Internally SES are reviewing the 'standards of emergency response' which will be a signed agreement between the Unit Manager and SHQ. The theory is that if the Units do not meet the agreement (time truck out the door with specified crew whio have appropriate training), then the Unit will not be responded to that type of tasking in the future.

For example, draft standard for Comms team is within 10 minutes, but 30 minutes maximum.
Andrew Macmichael
lives at Pt Noarlunga South.

My personal opinion only.

Offline Benji

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2006, 07:19:20 PM »
Keep it ontopic

Do any members of the SES find themselvs responding to clean up treas on houses of people who are not responsible enough to keep their houses in proper condition? ie being a free garden clean up service.

With the new CAD system these types of calls are slowing getting weeded out. The odd one still gets to us. Normally what my unit it does if we get there and its a gardening service job is give them a list of numbers of people to call that will do the job, and leave.
Ben(B2)
Crossdressing SES & CFS member

Offline bajdas

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2006, 08:12:35 PM »
How is it possible that the SES get turned out from MFS for a P1/P2 (both lights and sirens I have been led to believe) response, yet the may not be out the door for some time?

Do they have a specified default time like CFS does? Not just for RCR but for all jobs?

Respond to pager within 4 minutes or you default to next resource. Then the Unit agrees to abide by the 'standard of emergency response' for that type of incident.

The dual response with MFS and CFS is recognition that within metro area SES will not be quicker than MFS. So dual respond so that quickest resource is at the incident.

SES carry extra equipment for shoring, rescue tools, cuting tools, USAR, vertical, lighting, etc in each truck that MFS/CFS do not carry. Thus we are the extra equipment & people if the job is long & complicated in a 'heavy or specialised rescue' incident.

So I would want the truck on lights & sirens if I was trapped at long plains silo or the trench cave-in which are recent rescues involving SES.

Yes some people are getting annoyed with the stop calls & response downgrades, but Units will improve response times. In the meantime, if you are first responder & OIC, then give a good sitrep to following crews no matter what organisation they are from. We all use the GRN radio  8-)
Andrew Macmichael
lives at Pt Noarlunga South.

My personal opinion only.

Offline Hanging Around

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2006, 08:19:24 PM »
One question. What is the Dropmaster course? Sounds like some paratrooper qualification, but that seems unlikely, unless the SES are closely related to the SAS just like someone else has suggested.

Offline CFS_Firey

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2006, 09:48:01 PM »
I notice the SES mission is "A safe and prepared community".  What does the SES do to prepare the community?  (or is that the pre-filled sandbags you were talking about?)

Also, what is the VMR?

Offline Benji

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2006, 10:54:20 PM »
What does the SES do to prepare the community?
Different levels of the SES do different things.. like CFS. Region level helps local government areas come up with flood and disaster responce plans, unit level give the odd talk or presentation to groups and so on.

What is VMR?
Volunteer Marine Rescue. They became part of the SES a few years back now. The primary role of them is to provide a marine search and rescue service to vessels in distress or vessels that require emergency assistance. Other tasks include vessel recovery and retrieval, medevac and assistance to Police and other government agencies. In the West Coast Region, they have established several limited coast marine radio stations staffed by SES/VMR Volunteers on a daily basis, monitoring the marine distress frequencies.

What is the Dropmaster course?
Learning how to drop things out the back of an aircraft. Could be used for food or med supplies to families in the middle of a flood area. That kind of thing. Its not a wide spread course.
Ben(B2)
Crossdressing SES & CFS member

Offline bajdas

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2006, 11:12:31 PM »
I notice the SES mission is "A safe and prepared community".  What does the SES do to prepare the community?  (or is that the pre-filled sandbags you were talking about?)

When David Place became SES CEO he instigated the 'SES Case for Change' plan. This was to focus the organisation on Prepardness, rather than Reaction response to emergencies. It is also to focus SES has a specialised rescue responder.

Thus paid staff & Unit Managers have renewed focus on creation of emergency planning with public & private organisations. So SES assist prepare the SA State Emergency Plan (using staff associated with SEOC), councils, RA&HS Showground, Clipsal500 race, etc. This planning especially covers Floods which is now SES legislative role.

David Place is currently SAFECOM CEO so extra staff are on contract providing the planning services.

Also, what is the VMR?

Volunteer Marine Rescue co-ordinator is a paid staff member position within SES. He provides support to volunteers in the Sea Rescue Squadron, Volunteer Coast Guard, SES boats (sea & inland), 24x7 radio monitoring, etc.

He uses facilities within the SES office. This includes administration staff and people to assist in development of specialised courses in coastal navigation, seamanship, etc.
Andrew Macmichael
lives at Pt Noarlunga South.

My personal opinion only.

Toast

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2006, 11:48:40 PM »
Isn't it time for a new motto for the SES? They have expanded far beyond it.

Why don't you guys like taking stop calls from us?

Do you still use a single rope technique in your rope rescue courses?

Will the SES be able to work beside the CFS now that we have numerous 'official' rope rescue brigades?

Offline Benji

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2006, 12:02:50 AM »
Why don't you guys like taking stop calls from us?

Depends on what the job is. Most we will take the stop and go home, but others we will still go and say hello without lights and sirens going. Reason for this is because we have been caught out before. We had a stop call for a building impact saying only a fence had been knocked over, we where around the corner so went and had a look to find that the building had been stuck and the wall had been pushed in. That my not be the best example but its the first I could think of.

But that may not be the reason why we rock up, some calls we only get the stop from MFS as we rock up on site even when you called it in 5 min before hand. Then there is the odd time when we have to drive past the job to get home so we might stop and say hi - sorry to the Brigdewater guys that my passanger buzzed when we pulled over last week.
Ben(B2)
Crossdressing SES & CFS member

Toast

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2006, 12:07:39 AM »
Why don't you guys like taking stop calls from us?

Depends on what the job is. Most we will take the stop and go home, but others we will still go and say hello without lights and sirens going. Reason for this is because we have been caught out before. We had a stop call for a building impact saying only a fence had been knocked over, we where around the corner so went and had a look to find that the building had been stuck and the wall had been pushed in. That my not be the best example but its the first I could think of.

But that may not be the reason why we rock up, some calls we only get the stop from MFS as we rock up on site even when you called it in 5 min before hand. Then there is the odd time when we have to drive past the job to get home so we might stop and say hi - sorry to the Brigdewater guys that my passanger buzzed when we pulled over last week.

But still, if the OIC on scene deems it not necessary for the attendence of a resource, then its THEIR decision. We don't go cruising to RCR's just in case its been cocked up. I understand if we give a stop (or forget to) and youre just around the corner, but when 10-15 minutes pass...

Offline Smallflame

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2006, 04:48:30 AM »


Why don't you guys like taking stop calls from us?



Theres' a few CFS brigades who don't like taking stops either... I seem to recall a couple of freeway jobs...

Offline squiddy

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2006, 07:10:06 AM »
But still, if the OIC on scene deems it not necessary for the attendence of a resource, then its THEIR decision. We don't go cruising to RCR's just in case its been cocked up. I understand if we give a stop (or forget to) and youre just around the corner, but when 10-15 minutes pass...

Put quite simply, SES RCR units are not supposed to take stop calls unless it is from SAPOL or the original caller. Even then we are likely to respond at a lower priority. This is due to a massive cock up a few years ago when an SES unit were stop called for an accident because it was thought that everyone was out of the vehicle. Unfortunately there was a person out of sight in the back who died because nobody realised they were there and they were not extricated.

PF_

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2006, 07:49:43 AM »
That seems fair enough based on history but now it is just under-mining the job's of the fire and rescue service.  Im sure there was an inquiry into how someone was forgotten and now it has been sorted out and now the job is done efficiently. If an OIC makes a decision to stop call someone it seems rather arrogant to keep responding, neither CFS or SES should continue responding really.   

Toast

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Re: SES familiarisation thread
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2006, 10:20:23 AM »


Why don't you guys like taking stop calls from us?



Theres' a few CFS brigades who don't like taking stops either... I seem to recall a couple of freeway jobs...
Really? Do tell, because I'd love to hear about them. Got issues with Littlehampton and Hahndorf?