SES News

All the latest news regarding VICSES in the community. Click on a link below to read an article in adobe PDF format.

You can also visit the SES News archives to look back at activities and events from previous years.

SES StormSafe Week: Monday 15 August - Sunday 21 August
Activities being held during the week include displays, workshops and presentations.
15 August 2011
VICSES Volunteers Honoured at Awards Ceremony
Over fifty VICSES volunteers were honoured yesterday at the Annual VICSES Awards Ceremony held at the Ivanhoe Centre.
21 February 2011

Media Releases

Recent official Media Releases from the Victoria State Emergency Service are available below (in Adobe PDF Format):


Description Date/Time
Devils Plain Creek Bridge unsafe for vehicles 09 December 2010 - 12:00
Boil Water Notice for downstream of Wangaratta 08 December 2010 - 23:15
Heavy rain and flooding predicted for Victoria 07 December 2010 - 17:00
Heavy rains and flooding predicted for North East Victoria 03 September 2010 - 1345
Flood Watch in Western Victoria 03 September 2010 - 1330
Significant Weather on the way for Melbourne 03 September 2010 - 1330
Severe Weather Warning follows stormy night 02 August 2010 1530
iRescue 2010 Australasian Challenge Results 28 July 2010 - 1530
Flood Warning - Ovens and King River 15 July 2010 - 1300 hours
Flood Warning - Ovens and King River 14 July 2010
Flood Warning - Upper Goulburn 14 July 2010
Flood Warning - Seven and Castle Creek 14 July 2010
Flood Warning - Upper Murray 14 July 2010
VICSES urges caution ahead of predicted strong winds across state 10 July 2010 - 1200
Statewide update - Damaging wind storm event 17 June 2010 - 1745 hours
Update on North East Wind Storm clean up 17 June 2010 - 1700 hours
Ballarat and Mid West Wind Storm impact 17 June 2010 - 1645 hours
Drivers urged to take caution on Victoria's Alpine Roads 17 June 2010 - 1500 hours
Fast moving storm causing damage around North East Victoria 17 June 2010 - 1300 hours
Strong winds affect Victoria 16 June 2010 - 17:00pm
Severe Weather Warning - Strong winds predicted across Victoria 15 June 2010 - 17:00pm
Flood Watch - East Gippsland 29 May 2010 - 10:30pm
State clean up winding down 12 March 2010 - 13:40 hours
43 NSW SES volunteers and staff to assist Knox clean up 10 March 2010 - 10:00 hours
VICSES Volunteers kept busy 08 March 2010 - 0800 hours
Severe Thunderstorm Warning 07 March 2010 - 1503 hours
Severe Weather - Melbourne Cleans up after dangerous hail storm 07 March 2010 - 1330 hours
Severe Weather - After Storm Impact 7 07 March 2010 - 1130 hours
Severe Weather - After Storm Impact 6 06 March 2010 - 2100 hours
Dangerous Thunderstorm Warning 06 March 2010 - 1426 hours
SES Volunteers respond to Bendigo Flood Emergency 05 March 2010 - 1900 hours
Victorian Tsunami Threat Cancelled 28 February 2010 - 1630 hours
Victorian Tsunami Threat Continues 28 February 2010 - 1230 hours
Victorian Tsunami Threat 28 February 2010 - 0830 hours
Severe Weather Brings Victorians Into the New Year 2 January 2010 - 1430 hours
Severe Weather Forcast For New Years Eve Occuring 31 December 2009 - 1530 hours
Severe Weather Forcast For New Years Eve 31 December 2009 - 1530 hours


Operation Chainsaws and Chaps 28 August 2009 - 12:30 hours
State Recovers from Wild Storms 26 August 2009 - 15:00 hours
VICSES Operational Statistics 25 August 2009 - 22:30 hours
Commuter Advice 25 August 2009 - 12:00 hours
VICSES Operational Statistics 24 August 2009 - 17:00 hours
VICSES Operational Statistics 21 August 2009 - 17:00 hours
VICSES Operational Statistics 16 August 2009 - 17:00 hours
Minister to hand over New Ute to Horsham SES 14 August 2009 - 12:00 hours
Minister to Open Extenstions to Kaniva 14 August 2009 - 12:00 hours
Bendigo Bank to the Rescue for Frankston SES 14 August 2009 - 11:00 hours
Victorian Tsunami Threat Cancelled 16 July 2009 - 12:30 hours
VICSES Operational Stats for Weekend 27 April 2009 - 11:00 hours
VICSES Operational Update 15 April 2009 - 12:30 hours
Take caution on fire affected roads 15 Mar 2009 - 14:30 hours
Earthquake Shakes Victoria 6 Mar 2009 - 23:50 hours
VICSES Operational Update 4 Mar 2009 - 13:00 hours
VICSES Operational Statistics 3 Mar 2009 - 17:00 hours
Victorians Face Extreme Weather Threat 1 Mar 2009 - 17:30 hours
VICSES Advises Residents to Prepare Around Your Home 27 Feb 2009- 17:00 hours
VICSES Assisting with Fire Support 10 Feb 2009 - 12:00 hours
Operational Statistics 9 February 12:00hrs 09 Feb 2009 - 12:00 hours
Revive and Survive This Australia Day Long Weekend 23 Jan 2009 - 10:30 hours


Busy Weekend for VICSES Volunteers 14 Dec 2008 - 15.30 hours
Media Conference Alert 14 Dec 2008 - 12:00 hours
VICSES Volunteers Respond to Calls for Help 13 Dec 2008 - 13:00 hours
Media Conference Alert 12 Dec 2008 - 12:30 hours
Possible Severe Weather for Victoria 11 Dec 2008 - 17:00 hours

Gippsland braces for more rain 23 Nov 2008 - 10:30 hours
Severe weather still to come 22 Nov 2008 - 13:45 hours
Volunteers head to Queensland 21 Nov 2008 - 15:40 hours
BoM Predicts Good Rain and Stong Wind 20 Nov 2008 - 18:00 hours

Strong Wind Predicted for Victoria 21 Sep 2008
Strong Wind Predicted for Victoria 14 Sep 2008 - 15:45 hours
Strong Wind Warning for Victoria 13 Sep 2008- 12:35 hours
Operational Statistics for Strong Winds 01 Jul 2008 - 17:00 hours

VICSES Complete Outstanding Tasks 06 Apr 2008
Media Conference Alert - Airport Farewell 05 Apr 2008
Operational Statistics for Severe Storms (Summary 12) 05 Apr 2008 - 17:30 hours
Operational Statistics for Severe Storms (Summary 11) 04 Ap 2008 - 12:30 hours
Operational Statistics for Severe Storms (Summary 10) 04 Apr 2008 - 10:00 hours
Operational Statistics for Severe Storms (Summary 9) 03 Apr 2008 - 17:20 hours
Operational Statistics for Severe Storms (Summary 8) 03 Apr 2008 - 13:30 hours
Media Conference Alert 03 Apr 2008 - 12:45 hours
Operational Statistics for Severe Storms (Summary 7) 03 Apr 2008 - 12:10 hours
Operational Statistics for Severe Storms (Summary 6) 03 Apr 2008 - 10:00 hours
Operational Statistics for Severe Storms (Summary 5) 02 Apr 2008 - 21:30 hours
Operational Statistics for Severe Storms (Summary 4) 02 Apr 2008 - 19:30 hours
Operational Statistics for Severe Storms (Summary 3) 02 Apr 2008 - 18:00 hours
Operational Statistics for Severe Storms (Summary 2) 02 Apr 2008 - 16:00 hours
Operational Statistics for Severe Storms (Summary 1) 02 Apr 2008 - 14:30 hours


SES Facts

Here are some SES facts that you might find useful for any public education opportunities you may have. A few interesting service statistics added to your own local statistics, can help you to make a point.


  • Established 1975
  • Formerly the Victoria Civil Defence Organisation
  • 149 volunteer units
  • 5,600 volunteers
  • 72 permanent staff
  • 8 regional offices

Road Accident Rescue

  • 101 units accredited for road accident rescue
  • One of the largest single agency accredited providers of road accident rescue services in the world
  • SES units attend about 1200 road accident rescues every year

Driver Reviver (formerly Operation Coffee Break)

  • 65 locations around Victoria
  • Over 1000 volunteers involved annually
  • Over 200,000 cups of tea served each year
  • Major sponsor Bushells Tea
  • Easter the busiest operation

General Statistics

  • More than 350,000 hours of community service contributed by SES volunteers including training and operations
  • SES volunteers involved in 300 searches
  • Over 8,000 operational call outs
  • More than 5,000 storm damage requests for help
  • Over 200 operations in support of Police and fire services

Glossary of Terms

The emergency services tend to use words and descriptions of things that most people do not understand. This short glossary is designed to help the media and the public understand what we are talking about. This list is not finished.

A callout is any job that an SES crew is sent to. Sometimes we refer to a job as a callout. ie: "We had 3 callouts last week."

The Controller is the person in charge of a Unit. The Controller is a volunteer and is responsible for the running and organisation of the Unit.

Cutters or Shears
The cutters may refer to the hydraulic rescue device that can cut through metal like a pair of large scissors. They have incredible power and can cut through almost anything on a car or truck.

Dash Hinge or Dash Push
If a person has been trapped by the legs or thighs in a motor vehicle accident, we use a technique called a dash hinge to lift the dash board up off their legs. The dashboard hinges back as we ram it out of the way.

Emergency Operations Centre - This centre will have representatives from most emergency services inside with command and control facilities such as radios, whiteboards, phones, meeting rooms and map boards. The E.O.C. will become the focus of all decision making at the higher levels during a major emergency.

Emergency Vehicle Status - when an SES vehicle uses their lights and sirens, it is driving under EVS.

Line Search
When we are asked to search for someone or something in a designated area, we may use a line search technique. A large number of SES volunteers will form a straight line and walk forwards searching in front of them as they go. This method ensures that all ground has been checked.

Motor Vehicle Accident - The term used for a collision between motor vehicles or any other car accident. The Ambulance Service tend to use Motor Car Accident (MCA).

A ram may refer to the hydraulic device used to push out metal during a road accident rescue to make more space. The ram operates under hydraulic pressure and is part of the "Jaws of Life" tools.

Road Crash Rescue - when we attend a MVA, we perform a road crash rescue.

Roof Hinge or Roof Fold
The name given to the technique where we fold back the roof of a car to access the persons inside. Two cuts are made each side of the roof in the middle and the roof is then bent over and out of the way.

Regional Headquarters - The SES has six Regional Headquarters around Victoria.

SES Commander
The SES person in command of the SES crews on scene at a multi-agency emergency. The SES Commander is not in control of the emergency, only his/her SES crew. The SES Commander will be wearing a white hat and vest with the same wording on it.

The common name for the hydraulic rescue device used during a road accident rescue to spread open a door. It is commonly known as the "Jaws of Life".

Team Leader - this person is in charge of an SES team. The team may vary in number. A TL may also have a Deputy TL who will assist the TL when require with command decisions. The TL will be identified wearing a hat with the letters TL on it or shoulder epaulettes with Team Leader written on them.

Trapped and Released
The SES are called to rescue people who are unable to help themselves. In a car accident, we are required to help the Ambulance Service extricate the people in the car. They are trapped by the car and cannot get out. When we free them, they are now released.

The rescue crews attending an emergency will come from one of the 149 volunteer SES Units. A Unit is the name given to the group of SES volunteers from a given location. Some examples would be, the Eltham Unit, the Knox Unit, the Ballarat Unit.

USAR or Disaster Rescue
The term USAR comes from the USA and stands for Urban Search and Rescue. We have traditionally called it Disaster Rescue. USAR activities involve the systematic search and rescue of persons trapped under debris after a building collapse or other such event. SES crews will be required to search through the debris, climbing into it, and removing debris to help locate trapped casualties. Some recent examples would be the Thredbo Landslide or the Newcastle Earthquake.

Media Centre

These pages have been designed to assist the media in collection of current, historical and statistical information about the Victoria State Emergency Service for news stories and articles.

Please Note: The Victoria State Emergency Service now has a single statewide number for all media enquiries.

The SES media duty officer can be contacted on:

1300 783 933

  • Between 6am and 10pm, 7 days a week, this number will be answered by the on-call duty officer
  • Between 10pm and 6am your message will be taken and passed onto the on-call duty officer who will return your call early the next morning
  • In the event that VICSES is involved in major operations after hours this number will be staffed

Media outlets should remove all existing numbers for SES media enquiries from their contact directories and replace with 1300 783 933

All other information, interviews, etc. can be obtained by contacting our Media unit, via or by telephone on (03) 9684-6666.



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