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Guilty, I hail the humble heroes - The Daily telegraph

by Lilian Saleh | June 12, 2016

WHEN the worst of the Sydney storm hit last Sunday, I was in my PJs on the couch. I didn’t move from there all day except for the short trips to the kitchen or the loo.

As the howling winds raged outside and the heavy rain danced on our roof, I was curled up with my latest book and a block of chocolate — comfortably cocooned as the city was battered and bruised by Mother Nature.

It wasn’t until I was watching the evening news that pangs of guilt hit me.

There I was still in my PJs with my house nice and toasty warm, while hundreds of SES volunteers and emergency services workers were out in the rain cutting trees away from homes, searching flooded waterways for people, or stopping idiots from driving into harm’s way.

I’m almost ashamed to admit that as a young reporter I often thought those men and women in the orange overhauls were power-tripping glorified traffic controllers.

How rude was I. More than 9000 people volunteer for the SES in NSW, with the service offering emergency assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week covering everything from searches for missing people to helping at accident scenes.

And to all those SES volunteers, I’d like to say sorry and thank you.

Sorry for once thinking badly of you, and thank you in the knowledge that if a tree were ever to fall on my house, you’d be the first ones there — while I’m still in my PJs.

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