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Awards for our SES

By Mark Beale

THE Whitsunday and Bowen State Emergency Services (SES) have been recognised by the Queensland Government with state-wide emergency services awards.

Last week, the Whitsunday SES unit was awarded the Central Regional Operational Response of the Year award for its efforts in assisting to rescue people trapped in floodwater during Tropical Cyclone Ita in April.

Meanwhile the Bowen SES group was awarded Regional Group of the Year for its work throughout the last wet season.

Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney said she clearly remembered the evening of the Cyclone Ita event.

“The flood waters were rising very quickly, isolating people and trapping them… [and] the Whitsunday SES unit were called to assist with rescuing a group of adults and children trapped in rising waters and successfully guided a rescue helicopter to winch them to safety,” she said.

“The unit should be commended for their fantastic effort acting so swiftly to rescue these people.”

Likewise, Cr Whitney praised the Bowen SES group, who over the past year have responded to numerous requests for help during three separate severe weather and cyclone events.

“The Bowen SES Group is dedicated and devoted to the Bowen community and are very deserving of this award,” she said.

“The whole Whitsunday region is fortunate to have such professional, committed and hardworking SES units helping to keep them safe during severe weather events. Congratulations to both units.”

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