Volunteer FAQs

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Register your interest to join the SA SES by filling out our Volunteer Registration Form, by emailing SA SES Volunteer Recruitment or by calling 1300 364 587.

The South Australian State Emergency Service (SES) has 67 Units across the state. The SES is the ONLY volunteer emergency service to operate across the entire metropolitan Adelaide area as well as across regional South Australia. Phone 1300 364 587 or fill out our Volunteer Registration Form to find a Unit near you. Volunteering for the SES is a great way to meet new people and get involved in the community.

There are many operational roles available in SES, and some are very specific to their location, such as Mines Rescue in Coober Pedy. Some of the roles include:

  • Communications
  • Reconnaissance
  • Land Search and Rescue
  • Storm/Flood Mitigation
  • Marine Rescue
  • Air supply operations (Drop Masters)
  • Air Observers
  • Road Crash Rescue
  • Vertical Rescue
  • Confined Space Rescue
  • Dog Operations Unit
  • Mounted Cadre (Horses)
  • Mountain Bike Reconnaissance
  • Structural collapse (USAR)

There are also a range of support roles that may be available in Units, such as:

  • Administration Support
  • Finance
  • Recruitment Coordinators
  • Cadet Coordinators
  • Special Events Coordinators
  • Public and Media Liaison Coordinators

It is a team effort at the SES and we need lots of team players with a variety of skills. Not everyone has to hang off cliffs or cut people out of cars - we also need people to operate radios, observe, search, navigate, operate plant and machinery and lots more.

The SES is the control agency for storm and flood response under the SA Fire & Emergency Services Act and also provides a broad range or rescue services to the community of South Australia. Note: All roles are specific to local Unit needs and may not be available in all areas. Fill out our Volunteer Registration Form phone 1300 364 587 or email us for a referral to your local Unit who can provide you with more information about local requirements.

No, all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as overalls, boots, gloves and helmets are provided.

The SES provides all of the training and PPE you will need to do the job.

Volunteers are covered for Civil Liability as per the Insurance arrangements between SAICORP (Agency Agreement) and the SES.

The Volunteers Protection Act 2001, under section "Protection from Liability"; states "A Volunteer incurs no "personal" liability for an act or omission. This means that instead of the liability lying against the individual (Volunteer) it would be against the Agency, in this case the SES."

In respect to Personal Accident cover, SES Volunteers are prescribed "Workers" and therefore covered under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1986.

Training is usually held once a week, for three hours in the evening. Some Units train once a fortnight or monthly, depending on local needs.

Usually 3 hours per week for training plus occasional training weekends and operational callouts if you are joining the rescue crew. The amount of callouts depends on how busy your Unit is. If you are undertaking a role other than rescue, your time commitments will be different. Volunteers respond to operational callouts as they occur (day and night). It is hard to predict how often this will be, but the SES is generally at its busiest during periods of extreme weather, in particular during floods and storms.