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Meet Cayla from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services


State Emergency Service (SES) volunteer Cayla Jones was recently a finalist for the Queensland Youth Volunteer of the Year Award.

In Cayla’s role as Deputy Group Leader for SES Metro Group in Brisbane, she and her team review common practices, improve documentation and streamline processes.

Cayla has been with the SES since she was 17.

“I was finishing school and getting ready to leave home and all that, but I was nervous about what was going to happen next in life,” Cayla said. 

“Being at university gave me flexibility to do something new, so I decided to do something to help or work with the community around me. 

“My dad had been an SES member for a few years, and I thought it would be a nice balance of working with my community, while learning some basic life skills for myself.”

Cayla has previously been recognised with an Assistant Commissioner’s Certificate of Appreciation, an Australia Day Award and an SES Week Award.

She also works as a data scientist and used her skills to develop a dashboard for tracking skills within her SES group.

“The dashboard allows our members to quickly see when their skills are due for a refresher and make sure they’re operationally capable at all times. 

“It also allows the group’s executives to forecast how our operational capability will change over time.”

Cayla previously served as the group’s Training Coordinator, running weekly training nights and implementing a yearly training schedule. 

“I have a passion for teaching others, so I hope to become a trainer in formal courses soon,” she said. “It brings me great satisfaction to know our members can step up and use their skills to assist the community when the need arises.

“Our members dedicate their time and effort to attend training and maintain their skills so they can support their community. I’m just thrilled I can be part of the team that helps shape their training experience.

Cayla said it was rewarding to engage with the community at local events. 

“I enjoy having discussions around what we can all be doing to be more resilient during storms and weather emergencies,” she said.

“Serving Metro Group as a Deputy Group Leader has brought me immense joy. Witnessing our collective efforts to bounce back from the challenges of the COVID shutdowns has been truly heart-warming. 

“Our group has experienced a tremendous surge in numbers and operational capability. It’s been amazing to see passionate members, both old and new, eagerly engage and contribute to the growth of our incredible ‘orange army’.

“The dedication and sense of responsibility exhibited by volunteers is truly inspiring. The SES brings together an exceptional group of people who are entrusted with great responsibilities. 

“What truly delights me is witnessing a dedicated effort to embrace diversity among our members. We are actively encouraging people from various age groups, ethnic backgrounds and genders to join our ranks, bringing with them a wealth of skills and innovative ideas from many different walks of life.”