Bribie Island SES: Small unit, huge contribution

Bribie Island SES - Storm Heroes award winners

Bribie Island SES has been named ‘Winner’ in the 2013 NRMA Insurance Storm Heroes Team Awards for their response to Ex-TC Cyclone Oswald.

This year’s Australia Day Long Weekend celebrations were dampened by severe weather, keeping Bribie Island SES volunteers run off their feet. Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald brought heavy rainfall, wind and flooding to the small community of Bribie Island and isolated the community from the mainland.

NRMA Insurance Community and Alliances Manager Megan Lupton said the Storm Heroes Awards, now in their fifth year, celebrate hard-working Queensland SES teams who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

“SES volunteers are committed to helping their local community and can always be counted on when severe weather hits. Bribie Island is a small unit with few volunteers but they certainly made a huge effort for their community.”

“Bribie SES volunteers gave selflessly of their time, sacrificed sleep and time with their families to help locals get through the worst of the severe weather.

The Member for Pumicestone, Lisa France MP, congratulated the Bribie Island Unit on winning this year’s Storm Hero Award.

“We deeply appreciate our local SES unit and know that they will be there for us when wild weather strikes,” Ms France said. 

“This award highlights the vital work SES volunteers do to help our communities recover following severe weather and other emergencies.”

Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) South East Regional Director, Mike Shapland said the team did an outstanding job, made even more remarkable due to the unit’s limited resources.

“I’m very proud of how the unit came together and worked as a group to support Bribie Island locals. We had more than 75 requests for assistance, helping with sandbagging, roof repairs as well as traffic control after the island lost power because powerlines went down. Some of our members worked from dawn until late each night for a week, disrupting their personal lives so our community could recover more quickly from this storm.

The unit has been awarded $2,000 by NRMA Insurance, which will go towards purchasing essential storm response equipment. 

EMQ Assistant Director-General Bruce Grady said SES volunteers continued to be a pillar of strength in local communities.“SES volunteers always bring the best of themselves when nature is at its worst. We appreciate the difference awards such as NRMA Insurance’s Storm Heroes make in supporting and recognising our tireless volunteers,” he said.

NRMA Insurance has been supporting the Queensland SES since 2007 to help households better prepare for and recover from severe storms and rewarding SES volunteers with discounts on car and home insurance.