about a year ago some major flooding hit my home city. there had been flooding to other parts of queensland prior to brisbane being affected, including some pretty serious flash flooding in toowoomba just a few hours drive away. whilst i personally did not see any damage to my property or livelihood, i had friends whose homes were flooded, and got to see first hand some of the devastation when i helped with some of the cleanup.
(it wasn't a day for photography, but i did take a few on my phone, including this "favourite", if such a term can be appropriate. pictured is a friend whose home had water about a foot past the second storey floor.)
probably like many others in the community who responded with aid in the days and weeks following the flood, i was left feeling mostly helpless - wanting to do something, but not really knowing where to start, what to do, or how to best give of my time and energy and convert the willingness into something worthwhile. this is part of the reason i decided to sign up as a volunteer with the SES (state emergency service).
that was in mid january last year, and probably the worst time to join. it wasn't until september that i eventually got into a recruit intake group and began my induction. some three months later, i'm about to finish my probation period and become a community member, which means i can officially take part in activations and call outs. it hasn't all been quite what i expected so far, but i plan on sticking with it for the time being and continue getting trained and better prepared to be able to help and respond to times of emergency. it's also a good opportunity for me to work at forming friendships (maybe) with people outside of my normal circles. and one day, i hope to turn out in my orange uniform and be a part of a well coordinated effort to help someone in need.