SES chief hits out

OVER-stretched SES volunteers are being sidetracked from important callouts during summer storm seasons by "lazy and uncaring" people who expect them to perform home maintenance jobs such as cleaning gutters.

With the new storm season almost upon us, the vital emergency response organisation has urged homeowners to take care of their clogged gutters and downpipes themselves.

SES Maroochydore deputy group leader David Williams said yesterday he was tired of volunteers being sent to "emergency" jobs that were entirely preventable.

Mr Williams said he maintained his own 1.7ha property and still managed to do his SES duties, yet numerous "tight and ignorant" people could not be bothered looking after their home.

At least four volunteers have to respond to a damaged roof report.

But quite often when they arrive, it turns out the roof was leaking because the gutters and downpipes had not been cleaned.

Mr Williams said volunteers recently responded to such a callout.

"We did the job but had we been more pressed for other jobs, or had I been attending, we would have declined it," he said.

"Just because some people are too lazy, tight, ignorant, uncaring …

"We do not see your failure to do your job, or pay someone to do it for you, as an emergency requiring our involvement."

Mr Williams urged people to properly prepare their home well in advance of the storm season so that callouts were for genuine problems - "not those merely caused by laziness".