By Luke Voogt
Torquay grandmother Linda Cherubin leads a “double life”.
She can go from doing chores or working to rescuing trapped car crash victims or searching for a missing person in a moment.
“One minute you could be at home vacuuming your floor and the next moment you’re involved in a technical type rescue,” she said.
“Then you just pack up, go home, pick up the vacuum cleaner and life goes on.”
The 59-year-old has served at Torquay SES for more than 20 years and helped rescue a man trapped in a landslide at Jan Juc in 2001.
She and her team won a bravery award for the rescue, but for Linda nothing is more rewarding than knowing she helped someone in need.
“It’s a great feeling – it’s what you train for,” she said.
Linda has helped people in floods, storms, crashes and other scenarios.
“I love the physicality of the work,” she said.
“For me, it changes my daily routine from mother and businesswoman to something bigger, to an emergency first responder.”
The VICSES life member has a family history with the organisation.
Her mother and former Moorabbin mayor Julie Cooper helped set up an SES unit in the suburb, while her father subsequently volunteered there.
Linda encouraged locals to join VICSES or other community organisations during National Volunteer Week, which concludes on Sunday.
“Australia runs on volunteers. I love that people help each other just because.”