State Emergency Service

State Emergency Service

A State Emergency Service is an Australian volunteer organisation that provides emergency help during and after declared (natural or otherwise) disasters.

The SES began in Australia in 1955, and was originally known as the Civil Defence Service. It was formed as a precaution to any potential attacks on Australian soil. The name was changed to SES during the 1970s, to reflect a change of emphasis into providing emergency help related to floods, storms and other natural emergencies. Every state and territory in Australia has its own State (or Territory) Emergency Service, and there are 43,000 volunteers spread across the country. Each state or territory is broken into Regions, then Units, and finally Groups.

Each state or territory has its own particular process for the activation of a Unit, but the majority of operational members (those who have completed a probationary period and have attained minimum skills) are notified of a callout via mobile phone (SMS) or pager.

Functions of the SES

The SES provides assistance to local communities in times of need. Because every community is different, every SES Unit has a slightly different set of roles and activities. Depending on the needs of the local community, a Unit may perform only some or all of these roles:


In addition to what funds are provided by legislation to the SES by state and local governments, SES Groups also supplement their financial resources with donations made by individuals, businesses, and other government grants. These donations typically contribute to purchasing or maintaning Groups' equipment such as vehicles and tools, or to improvements of the SES Groups' property and facilities.

The SES encourages members of the community to donate via stalls set up at local events (eg. school fetes or other community-based events).

Contacting the SES

The telephone number for all SES units is 132 500, except in Tasmania and Northern Territory, where there is no state-wide telephone number.

Dial Triple-zero (000) if it is a life threatening emergency.

ee also

*New South Wales State Emergency Service
*Community Emergency Response Team


External links

* [ Australian Council of State Emergency Services]
* [ Australian Capital Territory State Emergency Service]
* [ New South Wales State Emergency Service]
* [ Northern Territory Emergency Service]
* [ Queensland State Emergency Service]
* [ South Australia State Emergency Service]
* [ Tasmania State Emergency Service]
* [ Victoria State Emergency Service]
* [ Western Australia State Emergency Service]

* [ Queensland Disaster Management Act 2003]

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