Everyone in this country has been touched by fire in some way. During this national emergency, how are you going to give back?

 

The majority of the people at the frontline of this crisis are unpaid volunteers. According to the Volunteer Firefighter Association, the average age of a fire and emergency services volunteer is 48 years, and the average age gets older as fewer Australians get involved with volunteering.

Every year the number of volunteer firefighters declines. That’s why we need more people to step up.

A November report in the Sydney Morning Herald says, “Older brigade members, those with perhaps 40 or 50 years’ of fire-fighting experience, are gradually retiring from frontline roles, and there is no rush of new blood to take their place”.

People of any age or gender are welcome to volunteer with the emergency services on a variety of tasks. Not all volunteering involves picking up a hose.

Follow these hyperlinks to get in touch with your local volunteer fire service in NSW, Victoria, WA, South Australia, NT, Queensland, or Tasmania. Volunteers are ordinary people just like you – they’re fathers, mothers, wives, nephews; single or married. You can volunteer as an individual or as a whole family.

You can be a firefighter, a cadet (between the ages of 11 and 18), or work in operational support taking care of administration, catering, and other logistics. Volunteres can also be involved with fundraising, marketing and community engagement.

Full training and protective clothing is provided to all volunteers. You will never be placed in any volunteer role without extensive free training.

Looking for other ways to support people effected by the fires?

You can get involved with the response programs set up by The Red Cross, Vinnies, Salvation Army, and AnglicanAid. Smaller organisations such as The Organic & Regenerative Investment Co-operative and Farmer Joe’s Pantry are also doing important work to support drought and fire effected farmers.

 

Volunteer at The Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie

Want to help animals and the environment? There are many ways you can get involved.

The RSPCA are running a bushfire appeal to rescue pets, livestock and wildlife. WIRES, WWF, the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife, and The Rescue Collective have all started emergency appeals. They need support for a variety of vital tasks ranging from rescuing burned animals to replanting trees to provide habitat for the animals who have survived.

One of the animals who has been hit hardest by the bushfires is the koala. Koala numbers have been declining for years, and fires in the ‘Koala triangle’ of prime habitat between Sydney and Brisbane has seen 30% of the region’s koala population killed, according to federal environment minister Sussan Ley.

Interested in protecting koalas? Enter your postcode on DoSomethingNearYou’s homepage and type ‘Koala’ into the search bar to find ways you can be involved in protecting a national icon from extinction.

 

Volunteer at The Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie

 

 


Kate
Cole
Coordinator
DoSomethingNearYou

29 December, 2019

 

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