Campbelltown's 43-year SES veteran honoured with life member award

Selfless volunteer: SES Campbelltown volunteer John Dodd received a life member award for his 43 years (and counting) with the service this week. Picture: Simon Bennett
Selfless volunteer: SES Campbelltown volunteer John Dodd received a life member award for his 43 years (and counting) with the service this week. Picture: Simon Bennett

One of Campbelltown's most dedicated volunteers has been honoured for his unwavering service over the past 43 years.

Ruse resident John Dodd was presented with a Life Member Award from NSW State Emergency Service earlier this week, celebrating his long career with the volunteer group.

Mr Dodd has spent all 43 of his years with the Campbelltown branch of the SES and has loved helping the community.

"It's very humbling to receive this award," he said.

"It's not something that I ever imagined get.

"It was very unexpected."

The 69-year-old is the longest-serving member of the Campbelltown SES and has been with the organisation for almost two-thirds of his life.

He first joined the SES when, as a young man, he saw members helping out locals.

Mr Dodd thought the service would be a great way to become more involved in the community and meet new people, so he put his hand up and never looked back.

In his time he has assisted with the Thredbo disaster, the horrific 1999 Syndey Hailstorm - "still the worst storm I've ever seen" - the Newcastle earthquake, the Granville train wreck, and various other floods, bushfires and emergencies.

He has also been called interstate to assist other emergency crews.

Mr Dodd said the appreciation of the people he has helped is what has kept him going with the service for all these years.

John Dodd, left, with Commissioner Mark Smethurst.

John Dodd, left, with Commissioner Mark Smethurst.

"I think people trust the SES because they're just regular people who give up their time to help out," he said.

"Whether it's a hole in the roof or something much worse, people are just so grateful that you've come to help out in what is often the worst of circumstances."

Mr Dodd said the camaraderie in the SES was also something he cherished.

"We're one big family," he said.

NSW SES Commissioner Mark Smethurst presented Mr Dodd with his Life Member Award on Tuesday at the NSW SES Campbelltown Unit Headquarters in Minto.

"It is a great pleasure to celebrate the achievements of the NSW SES Campbelltown Unit members, but most importantly those of John Dodd," he said.

"John has dedicated the last 43 years to volunteering.

"He has held many roles throughout the years, including being the Unit Controller, Deputy Controller and Rescue Officer to name a few.

"One of the strengths of the NSW SES is the great team spirit and friendships that develop and this sees volunteers staying with the service for many years, something which John exemplifies."

Mr Dodd said he loved the SES and encouraged anyone interested in joining the service to take the leap and give it a go: "it's worth it".