Emergency services supporting each other

Photograph of award presentation
Executive Director Dr Aresh Anwar, DFES' Acting District Officer North East Metro Jon Kirk and State Trauma Program Manager Maxine Burrell.
January 30, 2018

Keen to try something different and learn new skills were just two of the reasons State Trauma Program Manager Maxine Burrell decided to become a volunteer with the State Emergency Service (SES) five years ago.

Wanting to learn the types of skills where she could ‘get her hands dirty’ Maxine was inspired to respond to her local Bassendean SES unit’s call for new volunteers.

“I’ve been a ‘spreadsheet nurse’ for some time now, and being able to find an outlet where I could still connect with the community has been very rewarding,” Maxine said.

“SES Volunteers are ready to help at a moment’s notice to incidents locally and across the State, sometimes for several days at a time.

“RPH has been very accommodating in enabling me to make arrangements with the SES, which means that I can respond quickly when I do receive a call out.”

Thankful for RPH's support Maxine recently nominated the hospital for a Department of Fire and Emergency Services' (DFES) Volunteer Employer Recognition Award (VERA).

Maxine’s nomination was successful and DFES’ acting District Officer North East Metro Jon Kirk recently presented the award to RPH’s Executive Director Dr Aresh Anwar saying it was encouraging to see an organisation such as RPH supporting their staff in giving back to the wider community outside of their work demands.

“Not only do we rely on the many thousands of Western Australian’s who volunteer with the SES, we also rely heavily on employers being supportive in releasing their staff at short notice,” Jon said.

“Our community has come to depend on the SES in times of an emergency. However people may not realise that for many of our volunteers their ability to turn out and help others, even in the middle of the night, is made possible through the flexibility and support of their employers.”

In receiving the award Aresh said he was always amazed and delighted to hear about the wonderful contributions staff made outside of work.

“Our staff, by nature of their professions are such generous people and caring for others is at the heart of everything they do,” Aresh said.

“While it is wonderful RPH is recognised for the support it provides to the SES, I think it is important to recognise our many staff who choose to volunteer their time, to help others who find themselves in need.”

Maxine said being an SES volunteer had been a rewarding experience and one which she could highly recommend.