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Volunteers Go On-line in Major Tech Upgrade

4 December, 2009 | Issued by the New South Wales Government

A new email system will be rolled out to more than 7000 State Emergency Service volunteers over the next two months in a technology upgrade worth $2 million a year.

Emergency Services Minister, Steve Whan, was joined by SES Commissioner, Murray Kear, and Director for Public Sector, Microsoft Australia, Pip Marlow, to launch the new system.

"This system will enable our volunteers to receive and share important SES information more easily and quickly, helping them in their vital work to protect the community during floods, storms and other disasters," Mr Whan said.

"It will help them keep up-to-date on matters such as training, health and safety, community education, search and rescue techniques and operational response activities.

"This advance, providing active volunteers with their own individual email addresses and15 gigabytes of virtual data storage, has been made possible with the support of Microsoft.

"We welcome this generous contribution to the work of our volunteers and the safety of our community from one of the world's leading technology corporations."

Mr Whan said the new email addresses and virtual storage capability were key features of the Service's new Everyone's Online intranet system, launched last month to give staff and volunteers around the State easier access to information and data.

Commissioner Kear said the SES was committed to improving communications between the members of the Service to enable them to function more effectively.

"We are delighted to have the support of the State Government and Microsoft in the provision of this cutting edge technology, worth $2 million annually to the Service," he said.

Ms Marlow said Microsoft was delighted to have had the opportunity to partner on the project with the State Emergency Service.

"This is an important project that will enable the volunteers of the SES to undertake their vital work more readily and help New South Wales to respond more effectively in times of emergency and disaster."

"Partnering with the SES to help its volunteers build stronger links with each other and do their jobs more effectively goes to the very core of why Microsoft and our employees are so passionate about creating technology," she said.

Mr Whan thanked the SES volunteers for their enormous efforts over the past year to protect and assist the community, particularly during successive floods in Northern NSW.

"The members of the SES are always read to help when they're needed and I wish each of them the best for their safety during the summer storm and flood season," he said.

For further information please contact:

Ben Tan
Microsoft Australia
0418 488 827
btan@microsoft.com

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