Wellington Correctional Centre staff volunteer for NSW SES

Training: CSNSW Officers undertaking SES training to become volunteers. Photo: Contributed.

Training: CSNSW Officers undertaking SES training to become volunteers. Photo: Contributed.

Staff from Wellington's correctional centre will be the latest volunteers to don the orange uniforms of the state's SES volunteers.

Eight correctional services staff - including seven custodial officers and one senior case manager - from Wellington and Macquarie correctional centres will assist with bush searches and road accidents after completing a week long intensive training course designed to give them the skills necessary for urban and road rescues.

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Corrective Services NSW Senior Assistant Superintendent Mat Pike, who is also the local SES commander, claimed the influx of volunteers represented their biggest annual increase to the local SES' numbers. 

"We have increased the response capacity of our SES team by 400 per cent, which is so important to help keep the Wellington and Dubbo communities safe in times of need particularly as we have such big and busy roads in our region," Mr Pike said.

"Staff did a great job getting hands on with the training and we're very grateful to management at both prisons for allowing this opportunity.

"The work our officers do every day definitely helped with the SES training as some of the skills such as teamwork, good communication and risk management are interchangeable."

Next on the schedule for the latest group of volunteers is training in storm rescues. 

CSNSW entered into an agreement last year with NSW SES to encourage staff to sign up as volunteers as part of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations.

Senior Case Management Officer Aaron Edwards says he was inspired to join up after seeing the work his son had done as part of the SES.

"After seeing the work my son has done with the SES, I thought I'd like to do my bit to help," Mr Edwards said.

"It's great that the department allows us the opportunity to volunteer with the SES, to further our skills and make a valuable contribution to the community."

The NSW branch of the SES is recognised as the leading emergency rescue agency in Australia, with 9000 volunteers currently involved in the organisation. 

If you are interested in volunteering with the NSW SES, please go to www.ses.nsw.gov.au/get-involved/volunteer/ or call 1800 201 000.