Maroochydore SES trainer honoured with major award

A SUNSHINE Coast man who devotes countless hours to the SES has been named its Queensland Member of the Year.

Don Patterson, the Maroochydore SES group training officer, was awarded the Minister's Cup at a ceremony in Brisbane yesterday.

The honour came just 24 hours after he was named the organisation's Regional Member of the Year.

Member for Stafford Dr Chris Davis and Emergency Management Queensland assistant director-general Bruce Grady presented the awards, which wrapped up the SES Week celebrations.

Mr Davis described Mr Patterson as an outstanding training officer, who was highly regarded and respected by members of the Maroochydore SES Group.

"His focus on the exceptional training of his members has seen the group able to respond to large scale incidents in a timely manner with diligence and professionalism," he said.

"An example of this was during the Sunshine Coast flooding event on March 22, where the group received 269 requests for assistance in one afternoon."

When Mr Patterson received his regional award in Gympie on Saturday EMQ executive manager Merrick Ilett said Mr Patterson's quality and level of performance was a "wonderful example of excellence" to be aspired to by other groups."

He is highly regarded and respected by the Maroochydore SES Group.

His motto being: 'train hard, work easy', which has now become the group's motto too," he said.

"The benefits of his sound training of members are obvious, especially when the Maroochydore Group is under pressure during operationally busy times.

"Yesterday's ceremony saw the Director General's Cup awarded to the Gregory/Lawn Hills SES Group for Queensland Unit of the Year.

SES volunteers in the small, remote community in the Gulf of Carpentaria are required to respond to a wide range of incidents, from road crashes to missing person searches and providing assistance to stranded travellers.

Many members of the unit live hours away but are committed to travelling long distances to attend to training and call-outs.

Mitchell SES Group received the Executive Director's Shield for Queensland Operational Response of the Year for their commitment and management of the SES operational response to the floods of last February.



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