Looking forward to in 2022 with volunteer emergency services

Lilydale SES volunteer Lauren Daykin, Deputy Controller of Operations Louise Andrews, volunteer Sam Caulfield, Unit Controller Shaun Caulfield and volunteer Robert Barker were just some of the volunteers to respond in June. Picture: TAYLAH EASTWELL.

By Mikayla van Loon

Now that another year has passed and 2022 offers a little bit more optimism about the future, each of our emergency service crews and units are looking forward to getting back to normal.

Although Rob Waters said his crew at Montrose CFA had regular check-ins with 55 of their fellow active members, he hopes this year they can reconnect in person regularly.

“I just want to be very optimistic about this year and about making sure that we can have some sort of reality back or perspective back in what we actually do. Making sure that we all still stay connected, and we stay together and we’re a tight knit group,” he said.

Mr Waters said he also hopes the summer bushfire season is a quiet one to give his crew a chance to recoup after a tumultuous year.

Warren Davis echoed Mr Waters’ sentiments about the bushfire season but most of all was looking forward to a time when things can be normal again.

“We’re hoping that there’s no more lockdowns, no more restrictions on members attending the station or training and hoping that all brigades can get back to normality as soon as possible.”

Regularity is Ben Cash’s hope for 2022 and he’s looking forward to the redevelopment of the station which the crew have been working towards.

“We’re looking forward to consistency. Looking forward to getting our members back into more regular training. We’re looking forward to being back in our community a lot more,” Mr Cash said.

“I suppose every day we’re hoping for Covid to leave as quickly as it arrived but the reality is, it probably won’t,” Rick Ventrella said.

“This virus has changed the way. We always know it’s there but we do the best we can to keep moving forward.”

Mr Ventrella is also looking forward to welcoming a new forward control vehicle to the line up.

For the SES, the focus is a little different, with Shaun Caulfield saying he hopes the number of serious crashes reduces again this year.

“We’d love to see people maintaining their visual and surrounding road safety. Our numbers of serious crashes we attended were down slightly and we’d love that number to be going down every single year,” he said.

“As a unit we were looking forward to being able to be back together as a cohesive unit and not have to be training in small groups.”