The Gladstone Salvation Army says it desperately needs more volunteers in order to be fully prepared for Queensland’s unpredictable weather
The Salvation Army supports emergency service workers while they are in the field by keeping them well fed and hydrated.
Lieutenant Chris Ford told the ABC’s Zara Margolis that recently volunteers at the organisation were put on stand-by as severe weather was forecast for the region, and if it had eventuated their response time would have been affected due to a lack of staff.
“We would have done the best we could but it would have meant that potentially our team of two at the time would have had to work some big hours in order to support emergency services,” said Lieutenant Ford.
Lieutenant Ford says there has been a recent addition of two extra volunteers but they still need more because of the hours they can be called upon for duties.
“When an emergency occurs, we get the phone call to go out and attend, and our job is to provide catering to emergency services, and that can be ongoing from a number of days to 10 or 12 hours,” he said.
“When the emergency call comes in we rely on our sponsors, like supermarkets for example, they will open up at whatever hour is needed to supply us with food.
“We then meet, most likely at our church on Goondoon Street, and then it’s our role to go out to wherever the SES places us.”
He says if the organisation had six to eight volunteers then they could be rotated during shifts to alleviate any stress they may come under.
Lieutenant Ford says while the organisation does not regularly receive the call-out to support emergency services, it is important to be prepared…
Read more by Alice Roberts ABC Capricornia 9 February 2015
To register for the Australian and New Zealand Disaster & Emergency Management Conference please visit www.anzdmc.com.au.