For 10 years, a Wagga resident has been dedicated to devoting his spare hours to the local State Emergency Service.
Dale Hersee, deputy local commander of Wagga SES, first signed up after moving to a small country town from the Gold Coast.
“It was a town of 1300,” he said.
“You put your hand up and you do a variety of things because it was needed.
“There’s something about volunteering. You can’t describe the satisfaction that comes when you go and help someone.”
Mr Hersee received two commendations on Friday in recognition of his efforts.
“One was the Commissioner’s Unit Citation for outstanding efforts in a flood event,” he said.
“The second was the 10-year long service medal and certificate.”
Mr Hersee volunteered for two weeks at the Lismore floods in 2016.
“I was a level three technician, a swift water technician so I assisted cars who were caught in a floodway,” he said.
“It’s quite surreal, especially with the Lismore flood because of the carnage of devastation with the flood water.
“You get there and you have to take one problem as it presents itself.”
Mr Hersee said he would be on a 12-hour shift that required him to be constantly switched on.
“It can be extremely overwhelming, but I can't put into words the appreciation of people who say thank you when you come out in orange and its flooding,” he said.
Mr Hersee said he greatly appreciated the acknowledgement of his efforts.
“I am a family man, I work a normal job and I still volunteer 20-plus hours a week in some respects,” he said.
“To be acknowledged feels really good.
“I have no plans of slowing down yet.”
Mr Hersee said he would encourage anyone and everyone to put their hands up for the SES.
“They say there's a place for everyone here at the SES,” he said.
“It might be the back of the house or on the roof, or planning logistics and communications.
“There is a wide variety of volunteering career pathways.”
Local members and surrounding region SES units joined together for an open day on December 1 to celebrate the Wagga SES unit’s 60th birthday.
Head of the local volunteer unit Daniel Mahoney said the unit also assists with police searches and community events.
“Our team doesn't just do floods and storms, we also assist the police in searches both above ground and in the river, and we go to community events, like Relay for Life,” he said.