Remember to get your orange on for WOW day

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Wear Orange Wednesday is a day to celebrate the dedication of SES volunteers such as Wanneroo Joondalup SES members Jason Lansom and his son Daniel Lansom. Picture: Anita McInnes

IT is Wear Orange Wednesday tomorrow and you can show your support for State Emergency Services volunteers by wearing something orange.

State Emergency Services (SES) volunteers respond to vertical rescues, storms, cyclones, floods, car crashes and land searches, and provide vital support during bushfires.

Recently Wanneroo Joondalup SES team leader Daniel Lansom went to Karratha and Karijini and last year he was a member of the first SES strike team from the Perth metropolitan area to go to Kalbarri after cyclone Seroja to assess structural damage.

Mr Lansom said not only was the structural damage in Kalbarri 10 times worse than expected but there was the psychological aspect as well as he and his colleagues were often the first people residents spoke to after the cyclone.

Mr Lansom said the damage was so extensive as few buildings in the town were cyclone rated.

Severe tropical cyclone crossed the coast just south of Kalbarri about 8pm on April 11, 2021 with the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) saying it was very unusual for severe tropical cyclones to maintain their intensity that far south.

About 70 per cent of buildings in Kalbarri and the nearby town of Northampton sustained significant damage, mostly consisting of lost roofs but many structures were also destroyed.

BoM said many locations recorded maximum wind gusts more than 125km/h with the highest being 170km/h from Meanarra tower near Kalbarri.

Daniel Lansom has been a Wanneroo Joondalup SES member for the past eight years and in his day job he works as an electrical technician for Aquamonix in Landsdale.

While he was on the ground in Kalbarri his father Jason Lansom, who in his day job works in the burns unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital, was part of the WA Country Health Services incident management team.

Father and son also attended the 2019 Yanchep bushfire where SES units provided logistical support just as they do at any bushfire.

An SES volunteer for 38 years Jason Lansom said SES volunteers were normal everyday people with everyday jobs and Wear Orange Wednesday was a way of showing people the service they provided the community in their time of need.

He said most SES volunteer work involved helping after storm damage and assisting WA Police during land searches for missing people with searches where there was a positive result the ones that stood out for him.

Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson said during the past year, volunteers had devoted more than 23,700 hours of service across 2300 incidents.

“They assisted with the search for missing child Cleo Smith, helped communities respond to severe flooding in the Kimberley and deployed personnel to New South Wales to support exhausted local crews dealing with major flooding,’’ he said.

“SES volunteers leave their homes, jobs and loved ones without hesitation to help other people when emergency or disaster strikes.

“They make themselves available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and travel from every corner of the state to help those in need, and for all that we say thank you.

“More than 2100 SES volunteers provide the WA community with a valued and vital service, and I would encourage everyone to consider wearing something orange tomorrow to show their appreciation.”