COMMUNITY SERVICE: SES volunteers Jacqueline O'Donnell and Robert Sutherland loading sandbags this week.
COMMUNITY SERVICE: SES volunteers Jacqueline O'Donnell and Robert Sutherland loading sandbags this week. Mike Knott BUN290317SANDBAGS1

Call to train Year 12 students for emergencies

IN THE face of an emergency like Queensland experienced this week, towns rely on the State Emergency Service.

But there are only so many of these troopers to go around.

Bundaberg resident Mary Walker has the solution.

Ms Walker would like to see all Year 12 students receive formal SES training at school, thus injecting an army of responders qualified to act in an emergency situation.

Four years ago after the 2013 flood, Ms Walker took her idea to one of the local high school principals, who showed enthusiasm for the concept and made some phone calls to get the plan in action.

However at the time it was deemed to be too labour intensive for the local SES to consider.

Ms Walker says after ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie it was time to revisit the strategy.

"The students will gain respect for themselves and others and this will stay with them for life,” Ms Walker said.

"Queensland should lead the way as the global weather pattern seems to hit us first, but it should be Australia-wide.”

Ms Walker said to facilitate the training, instructors would be paid for their time and "this will be paid back through the millions of dollars saved from the training that the students receive”.

She also said students who may not excel academically would benefit from training, which would provide them with life skills and help them find jobs.



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