News

Insurer donates $600k to SES

By Benalla Ensign

Benalla SES will receive a share of more than $600,000 thanks to a generous contribution by insurer, AAMI.

In the past year, the VICSES Benalla Unit responded to 227 calls for assistance.

The majority were for storm-related damage, with volunteers responding 136 times.

VICSES Benalla Unit Controller Brett Taylor Parkins said the partnership was important.

‘‘AAMI has been a fantastic partner for us over the years,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s really terrific to have them backing our volunteers, so we can support the Benalla community.

‘‘We can’t thank them enough for their valuable contribution. Their support allows our volunteers to have access to the best training and equipment to support the Benalla community before, during and after an emergency.’’

Tools and equipment purchased through the program are used to assist in various types of storm-related damage, such as removal of fallen trees and working on homes impacted by severe weather.

This year’s funding has been used to purchase nearly 2000 pieces of equipment that will help SES volunteers, who work tirelessly to support the Benalla community, when a storm hits.

This year the equipment purchased by VICSES includes:

●hydraulic rescue tools;

●power tools;

●generators;

●chainsaws; and

●remote-area lighting.

AAMI has been VICSES’ Principal Community Partner since 2002 and during that time it has contributed almost eight million dollars to support VICSES volunteers.

AAMI also plays a key role in supporting VICSES’ community awareness campaigns, such as 15 to float.

That campaign is about flood safety and is designed to raise awareness of the dangers when driving through floodwater.

All it takes is 15cm of water for a car to lose traction.