The State Emergency Service (SES) is a volunteer organisation, established by an Act of Parliament in 1975.
Under the Act, every local authority in Queensland is responsible for maintaining SES Units within their communities. The SES Units are made up of local people who have volunteered to prepare themselves and their communities to minimise the effects of a disaster. SES volunteers do not receive payment.
Since 1 July 2008 employers whose staff volunteer for the SES are exempt from paying payroll tax for the hours staff spend away from work serving the community. This exemption recognises the importance of those volunteers and the commitment of their employers for allowing their staff to take time away from work to assist in emergency operations. (Exemptions do not apply to wages paid or payable as recreation leave, annual leave, long service leave or sick leave.)
Under the motto, "Be Aware", the basic concept of the SES is to encourage self-help and mutual assistance within each community. SES Groups support the statutory services (Police, Fire and Ambulance) where an emergency or disaster is beyond the resources of those services.
In Queensland, the SES is the primary response agency for storm and flood emergencies.
The Queensland SES responds at local and national levels to many different types of activations as a result of disasters and emergencies including:
And performs functions ranging from:
SES Groups run local SES recruitment programs. Depending on the SES Group the frequency of Information Nights and Inductions may vary and some may be held infrequently resulting in possible delays in the membership process.