New South Wales State Emergency Service
NSW State Emergency Service Logo
NSW State Emergency Service Rondell
|Jurisdiction||New South Wales|
|Headquarters||Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia|
|Annual budget||A$96 million (2012)|
The New South Wales State Emergency Service (NSW SES), an agency of the Government of New South Wales, is an emergency and rescue service dedicated to assisting the community in times of natural and man-made disasters. The NSW SES is made up almost entirely of volunteer members, numbering over 9,000 as of June 2018, via 240+ suburban, regional and rural units located throughout New South Wales. The volunteers are easily identified by their distinctive orange overalls.
With its history going back to 1955, a State Emergency Services' organisation was established after the Hunter Valley floods of 1955, when they merged with Civil Defence in response to fears of a nuclear attack, and then restructured in 1972 and again in 1989, following the enactment of the State Emergency Service Act, 1989 (NSW).
The major responsibilities of the NSW SES are for flood (including Flood Rescue), tsunami and storm operations. The NSW SES also provides the majority of General Land Rescue effort in the rural parts of the state. This includes road crash rescue, vertical rescue, general rescue, bush search and rescue, evidence searches (both metropolitan and rural) and other forms of specialist rescue that may be required due to local threats. The Service's trained rescuers also support the full-time emergency services during major disasters.
The NSW SES also assist other emergency services when they are performing major operations. These services include the New South Wales Police Force, the NSW Rural Fire Service, the Fire and Rescue NSW and the Ambulance Service of New South Wales.
Honours and awards
|NSW SES Life Member|
|NSW SES Commissioner's Unit Citation|
|NSW SES Commissioner's Commendation for Courage|
|NSW SES Commissioner's Commendation for Service|
|NSW SES Long Service Medal|
|NSW SES Long Service Badge - 5 years|
|Emergency Service Medal (ESM)|
Funding and support
The NSW SES receives funding primarily from the NSW Government and donations made by members of the public. Resources are often obtained through numerous grants provided by public and private entities.
The state headquarters of the NSW SES is located in Wollongong, with 17 regional headquarters located across the state. Region boundaries are generally based on river catchments, reflecting that floods are a major part of their work. The boundaries for the NSW SES's 240+ units are based broadly on local government boundaries, however, some units may cover 2 local government areas, where other units may be split into 2 sub-units for 1 local government area.
NSW SES volunteer units are managed by Local Controllers. Where there is more than one unit in a local government area, or a number of units in close concentration, a Unit Controller is appointed to manage each unit with a Local Controller overseeing operations on a larger scale than at the individual unit but smaller scale than at the Regional Headquarters. Region offices are managed by a Region Controller. Offices also have a Deputy Region Controller, Learning and Development Officer, Business Manager and Business Services Officer. A number of Regions have additional Learning and Development Officers, Volunteer Support Officers and/or Community Engagement Coordinators. Volunteers may also be attached to a region office.
The 17 regions are Central West, Clarence Nambucca, Far West, Hunter, Illawarra South Coast, Lachlan, Macquarie, Murray, Murrumbidgee, Namoi, North West, Mid North Coast, Richmond Tweed, Southern Highlands, Sydney Northern, Sydney Southern, Sydney Western.
At a state level, Directors are responsible for key functional areas (Finance and Asset Management, Regional Operations, People and Culture, Information Technology and Emergency Management and Strategy,Policy and Innovation). All these positions are based at NSW SES State Headquarters in Wollongong.
Regions / Units
|Regions||Central West||Clarence-Nambucca||Far West||Hunter||Illawarra South Coast||Lachlan||Macquarie||Murray|
|Regions||Murrumbidgee||North West||Mid North Coast||Richmond-Tweed||Southern Highlands||Sydney Northern||Sydney Southern||Sydney Western|
SES volunteers removing debris from Lake Albert, in 2010.
SES vehicles and volunteers in Wagga Wagga, in 2008.
Queanbeyan headquarters of the SES, in 2011.
Gooloogong local SES unit shed, in 2011.