About the South Australian State Emergency Service

The South Australian State Emergency Service (SASES) is a volunteer-based organisation that responds to a wide range of emergencies and rescues across the state 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365-days a year.

Primarily responsible for responding to extreme weather (including storms and extreme heat) and flooding events, the SASES also responds to road crash, marine, swiftwater, vertical and confined space rescues.

SASES has a number of legislative roles, including exercising responsibilities as the Control Agency for flooding, extreme weather and structural collapse. SASES is also the Hazard Leader for extreme weather including storms and heatwaves.

The SASES, SA Country Fire Service (CFS) and SA Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) are the three main emergency service organisations that comprise the fire and emergency services sector in South Australia. All three organisations operate under the guidance of the South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Commission (SAFECOM) and report to the South Australian Minister for Emergency Services.

The SASES assists the South Australian Police (SAPOL) in land search operations and traffic management and plays an important support role to the CFS during major bushfires.

SASES members - which currently number over 1700 - also devote considerable time helping raise the community's awareness of a range of natural hazards.

In a typical year, SASES volunteers respond to around 10,000 calls for assistance from the South Australian community. Some of the busier Adelaide metropolitan units respond to hundreds of requests for assistance each year.

SASES volunteers have saved the lives and property of countless South Australians since the early 1960s when it was known as the Civil Defence.

Over the past 50 years the SASES has morphed into a highly trained, responsive and effective emergency service agency with a key role in ensuring the safety of all South Australians. 

For a detailed history of the SASES read our autobiography In Times of Need: The Story of the South Australian State Emergency Service (2015) (6164KB PDF).

Across Australia, each state and territory operates its own separate SES organisation. Eight of the SES organisations co-ordinate through the Australian Council of State and Territory Emergency Services. Please find links below to each of the other SES organisations across Australia. 

Australian Capital Territory SES
New South Wales SES
Northern Territory SES
Queensland SES
Tasmania SES
Victoria SES
Western Australia SES



To become a volunteer with the SASES fill in and submit our volunteer registration form or call 1300 364 587.