State emergency superstars

LAST Wednesday night, Clare SES held a special awards ceremony with a visit from Sue Gage, district officer for the Mid North.

Much to her surprise, Clare unit manager, Lee-Anne Leach, was presented with the first certificate of the night for five years of dedicated service.

Lee-Anne joined in October 2012 and has since undertaken many training courses, maintaining her operational skills and up-to-date accreditations.

She is the district’s work health and safety officer, and maintains contacts with the six mid north units to address and report any safety issues they may have.

In August 2015, Lee-Anne stepped up into the role of unit manager and Clare unit numbers have gradually increased to around 20.

As unit manager, Lee-Anne has encouraged all members to participate in the running of the unit which has been noticed in their team’s dedication and enjoyment of their volunteer roles.

The National Medal is awarded to volunteers in recognition of long and diligent service of volunteer organisations, such as the SES, that protect and assist the community in times of emergency or natural disasters.

Paul Gibson of Clare was presented with the first bar to his National Medal after 25 years of active and diligent service.

The medal is approved by the Crown and the Commonwealth, issued from Canberra, with names appearing on the national honours list aside AM and OAM medallists.

Paul first joined the SES in July 1991 as a cadet and has since been a very active member with accredited training in rescue-to-rescue operations, storm damage, land search and road crash rescue.

In the SES, he has been deputy unit manager, rescue officer, training officer who can deliver and assess the training, and operations response manager.

The primary response of the Clare unit has unfortunately been to road crashes and in this capacity Paul has probably seen the best and worst the world has to offer, yet he still responds with the same dedication and professionalism.

The Clare district has also seen its share of severe weather events, and on many occasions, Paul has coordinated the unit response to multiple incidents with great ability, breaking down what seems to be an insurmountable workload into manageable pieces, ultimately getting the work done.

Paul will be presented officially with his medal at a state function later in the year.

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