THE Cairns SES team showed up dressed to impress at Saturday’s FNQ Emergency Services Gala Ball on Saturday evening, with some even volunteering their time to help co-ordinate the evening’s activities after assisting all day at the Great Pyramid Race in Gordonvale.
Recent SES recruit and ball attendee Alex Sinchak was proud to see her colleague’s high level of dedication to service and said a great time was had by those at the event.
“It’s a great place for everyone to be. It’s the safest room in the town on that night, even with everyone in a very joyful state,” she quipped.
“It was really thoughtful to be invited to such a fun and charitable event, because we were supporting Rosies, which is such a big cause.”
Ms Sinchak joined the SES this year, inspired to help those who suffer the natural consequences of climate change.
“I work in environmental conservation and I’m trying to understand and help mitigate the effects of climate change,” she said.
“The least I can do is help people impacted … for example, responding to flooding where I can help someone right away and achieve some tangible results.”
The night was a chance for FNQ emergency services personnel, who’ve put their lives on the line to protect the people and property of the Far North over the past 12 months, to enjoy a deserved celebration of their work.
“With everything we do, it gives us all a chance to have a night out away from all the traumas and tragedies we deal with,” said John-Byron Bacalakis, a senior firefighter and president of the FNQ Emergency Services Association.
“Life in the emergency services means you’re under the pump everyday … it has a lot of effect on the personnel.
“Tonight is about acknowledging what people have contributed and thanking the emergency services for what they do.”
Almost 900 frontline emergency services personnel from organisations such as the rural fire service, SES, QFES, Qld Police and Qld Health attended the event at Cairns Convention Centre.
Members of the public could also buy tickets to the event, to show their support.
“There’s people out there who’ve had incidents occur and it gives them a chance to come back and say thank you to the services who have helped them,” said Mr Bacalakis.
But even in their moment of relaxation, ball attendees still couldn’t help supporting a community cause, raising funds and awareness for local charity Rosies – Friends on the Street.
“Even though we’re in relaxation mode, we’re still doing what we do best and that’s giving back to the community,” said Mr Bacalakis.
Rosies is a mobile charity that provides outreach services and companionship to people suffering lives of poverty.
The event raised funds to support the purchase of an additional van that would facilitate an increase in service provision.
Rosies’ CEO Jayne Shallcross said the support of the FNQ Emergency Services was fantastic.
“We work very closely with all the emergency services who are a vital, amazing group of people,” said Ms Shallcross.
“We have 250 volunteers in FNQ. We’re out on the street five times a week. We can have up to 100 patrons a night, and those numbers continue to increase.
“So to have the support of this event is incredible. We’re so grateful for all frontline workers.”