IT WAS after witnessing a friend being rescued by SES volunteers at Mount Tamborine that Scott Yule decide he wanted to be an SES volunteer.
"My friend bought a hang glider from the Trading Post, we all came to watch him and when he jumped off the cliff he just went straight down. He was fine, (but) he got tangled up in some trees and he had to be rescued by the SES," he said.
When Mr Yule moved to Proserpine with his wife and three children he joined the Proserpine SES and has since learnt how to operate the unit's jet-powered flood boat and undertake rescues.
"The first time I drove past the SES headquarters I saw (Whitsunday) SES Controller Mark Connors out the front with the boat (and) I asked him cheekily if he could teach me how to drive it," he said. "I joined soon after, and now I drive it all the time."
The SES, which Australia-wide celebrated its "Wear Orange Wednesday" annual day of recognition for the service, opens many avenues for volunteers and offers courses on boating, navigation, radio, first aid and more. It also lays the foundations for many strong friendships and comradery.
"All the SES crews have a comradery, we always say hi to one another, SES Proserpine, SES Cannonvale and SES Gloucester all get along well," Mr Yule said. "We have SES competitions where we compete against other units. We (Proserpine) came first in the regional competition, and second in the state competition."
Mr Yule said it was his past experience as a waterskiier at SeaWorld of some 10 years that lead to Mr Connors recruiting him.
"And we found that those skills transferred well into the SES, particularly the strong focus on safety," he said.
Mr Yule has a colourful resume and is an auto-electrician at present.
"All the members of our unit here bring something to the table. They all have different jobs, skills and interests. One has a Master 5 shipping license, we have nurses, cane farmers, electricians. The SES is what you make of it. You get out as much as you put in."
As to why he does it, Mr Yule said helping people was the biggest reward.
"Just seeing their faces flood with relief when we show up smiling and ready to help. It's priceless. The SES are very well respected," he said.
SES Proserpine meet every Tuesday at their headquarters on Hinschen Street in Proserpine.
"It is awesome, if you've got the time and like to give back to the community, there's a bunch of great people with a wealth of knowledge at SES Proserpine," he said.
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