24/02/2021 | Vincent Tarzia MP | Better Services

Highly-trained State Emergency Service (SES) personnel will continue to boost SAPOL’s capability in the fight against COVID-19 and other important duties with a three-month contract extension as the Pfizer vaccine is rolled out to South Australians.

To date, SES personnel have provided crucial assistance during the pandemic, supporting SAPOL at Adelaide Airport and on border checkpoints in COVID-19 operational roles. They have also assisted with monitoring firebugs in arson hotspots during the current bushfire season as part of Operation Nomad.

Minister for Emergency Services Vincent Tarzia said the dedicated service of SES members continues to keep South Australia safe and strong.

“Once again our selfless SES members answered the call and committed to helping South Australia when SAPOL asked for assistance with COVID-19 duties last year,” Minister Tarzia said.

“Our SES members have shown true professionalism and sheer dedication to their roles and tasks, strengthening SAPOL’s capability while enabling valuable police resources to be redirected to other areas to maintain safety and security for South Australians.

“There are 42 hardworking men and women from the SES who will continue their roles for another three months, with an option to extend the contract again until September if necessary.”

As part of the $93.2 million in extra funding already allocated to SAPOL in the 2020-21 State Budget, the Marshall Government injected $21.2m to boost SAPOL resources for COVID-19.

The SES SAPOL Support Program members – who are paid for their work – completed their induction at the SES Netley depot in October last year.

They carry out their duties at locations based on operational requirements and use SES operational vehicles fitted with SES operational tablets, GRN radios, burnover kits and PPE for infection control.

SES Chief Officer Chris Beattie said members acquitted themselves well and are proud to support SAPOL – and the broader South Australian community – during these challenging times.

“They have shown extraordinary dedication and been flexible and responsive to changing operational requirements – often at short notice,” Mr Beattie said.

“The feedback I have received has been very positive.”

SAPOL Assistant Commissioner Craig Patterson said: “We welcome the extension of the working partnership with the SES which has been very successful so far in assisting with the COVID-19 response.”

“The SES members have displayed a professional and enthusiastic commitment in support of COVID-19 Command Operations and are at the frontline of keeping South Australians safe,” Assistant Commissioner Patterson said.

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout across South Australia is being performed in line with the Commonwealth Government’s Vaccine Roadmap.

The state’s frontline workers are the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccinations at www.covid-19.sa.gov.au.