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Last modified: 31 Jan 2023 3:51pm

A woman wrapped in a blanket leans over talking to two people sitting behind a desk wearing orange high visibility vests reading Selwyn Emergency Management

Selwyn residents who want to make a positive difference in their community during an emergency are being urged to come to a free information evening at Te Ara Ātea in Rolleston on Monday 13 February, 7–8pm.

The Selwyn Emergency Support Team (SEST) is looking for at least 10 new volunteers to join the group, and is holding an information session this month to help potential candidates learn what’s involved.

SEST is a group of community volunteers of different backgrounds and skills, with a common commitment to supporting local communities when emergencies happen. The team is part of the Selwyn Civil Defence response and is managed by the Council
Emergency Management Team.

Deputy Team Leader Angie Milner says SEST is looking for adults of all ages and backgrounds.

“The most important things are that you are a people person and can stay calm under pressure. We provide all the training, so you don’t need previous experience. If you think you’d like to be a part of SEST, this information evening is for you.”

SEST has been running for almost five years and has been deployed to a variety of emergencies. This included opening a Civil Defence Centre during recent flood events in Selwyn, conducting welfare checks on the West Coast, and helping other agencies during the pandemic to deliver meals and make telephone welfare calls to elderly and vulnerable residents.

“We train every fortnight on Monday evenings from 7 to 9pm,” Angie says. “We’re a very community-minded team and we’d really like more volunteers to join us.”

Register for the evening.