From a humble office in the heart of Manjimup, a call centre is set to celebrate 20 years of working around the clock to prevent drowning, provide expert assistance and raise funds.
Acting as the mediators between those who can help and those who need it, the Manjimup-based RLSS call centre has been the point of call for residents faced with everything from a flooded kitchen to helping organisations improve their water safety.
Now celebrating their 20th year, the Manjimup and Bridgetown call centres are all about giving back to the community, according to RLSS’ Manjimup customer contact specialist Maria Vellios.
“If someone has a lost dog and needs ranger services or there’s trees down after a huge storm and we need to get the emergency crew out — anything you can think of that happens within a Shire, our guys take the call and get someone out there, ” she said.
We are now a 24/7 service centre for every government-owned and leased building within the State.
“From call to the next they (the call centre staff) could be wearing a different hat for a different client and they have that information at their fingertips to answer those questions and create a work order simultaneously.”
Ms Vellios recalls the history of the RLSS, starting from its roots in the United Kingdom to its growth throughout the South West.
“The reason the call centres came about was due to a downturn in the forestry industry (after the Regional Forestry Agreement) and the RLSS won a grant to bring work to regional towns,” she said.
“We first started off in 2002 … and for the first few months were just doing outbound calling for the RLSS to fundraise for their water safety programs.
“We are now a 24/7 service centre for every government-owned and leased building within the State — schools, police stations, local shires — if they have any problems, we are able to send someone out to help.”
Government officials and organisational leaders are set to officially commemorate the call centres’ 20-year milestone on June 28.