Gary hands over SES reins
FOR almost a decade, Gary Maloney has led his Coffs Harbour City SES troops with distinction as they've encountered disaster. But he's decided it's time to give someone else a go as local controller and he's handed over the reins to his loyal deputy, Bob White. Gary will continue to have an active role with the unit, remaining as a duty officer who will be the first point of contact at the Park Avenue headquarters. His biggest operational responsibility was on that now infamous afternoon on Nov- ember 23, 1996, when about 300mm of rain fell in the Coffs Creek catchment within two hours. The storm claimed one life. "It caused the level of Coffs Creek to rise one metre above the 100-year flood level, causing severe flash-flooding to the CBD and surrounding residential areas," Gary said. "This was the highest level ever recorded. "There's been a lot of other jobs, but that was the major one. "We've also provided help to other areas in the State which have copped storm damage." Gary, 57, has now racked up 25 years combined service with the NSW Police and the SES. Bob was also a police officer, serving for 17 years ahead of joining the SES in 1997. "I want to keep the unit operating the way it has been," Bob said. "My role is to administer it and to look after recruiting, and to also reassess flood plans." Gary had no words of advice for his successor, saying he had been there long enough to do the job well.