Milestone for SES

Wyndham SES founding members Gerry Greenwood and Laurie Russell. (Damjan Janevski) 288108_01

When the Wyndham SES was established 40 years ago, the service didn’t have a building, any equipment, trucks or money.

Laurie Russell and Gerry Greenwood are the only two founding members remaining who were present when the service was formed in 1982.

“We started the unit with a donation of $20 … all our training was done in the car park underneath the old civic centre,” Mr Russell said.

“[As a] means of transport, Gerry Greenwood, he used to use his own vehicle, which was a Valiant Charger, and we used to tow a trailer behind it, that’s how we used to help people.

“Our first vehicle we ever bought … that was an old biscuit van, we had that for a number of years and then we graduated from one vehicle to another to the present fleet we’ve got today.”

Mr Greenwood said the SES unit did not receive a government vehicle for 11 years.

“We had to rely on donations, raffle tickets and selling chocolates in order to purchase our first vehicle, which was a 1967 Bedford van,” he said.

Mr Russell said there was “a lot changing” for the SES in Wyndham, to keep up with changing times and population climbs.

“Up until the last two or three years, we looked after the whole city of Wyndham, so 554sqm that we had responsibility for,” he said.

“Then the Wyndham West unit was established, and currently plans are being finalised for the new unit down at Point Cook.”

Fatima Halloum