More young fireys needed

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - Therese Col­man

The Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River is en­cour­ag­ing younger res­i­dents to vol­un­teer for their lo­cal bush­fire brigades.

Shire com­mu­nity emer­gency ser­vices man­ager Chris Lloyd said at some brigades, the av­er­age age of vol­un­teers was 67, and it was im­por­tant to train young peo­ple now for the fu­ture.

“There is a huge amount of knowl­edge and ex­per­tise among our highly ex­pe­ri­enced bri­gade mem­bers, and they would love to be able to share this knowl­edge with the next generation of fire fight­ers,” he said. “The Shire recog­nises that vol­un­teer­ing can be a huge com­mit­ment for peo­ple of all ages, and that it can be es­pe­cially tough for young peo­ple who are study­ing, work­ing full-time, or have young fam­i­lies.

“How­ever, the skills gained and the ca­ma­raderie within the brigades pro­vides a re­ward­ing and valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Mick Hol­land, 24, is the son of the Shire’s chief bush­fire con­trol of­fi­cer Dave Hol­land, and has vol­un­teered for the Witch­cliffe Bush Fire Bri­gade for eight years.

“It’s re­ward­ing to help out some­one in their time of need us­ing my spe­cific skills gained at bri­gade train­ing,” he said. “It’s al­ways nice to see the re­spect and grat­i­tude that the com­mu­nity show when we fight what many peo­ple fear.”

Rosa Brook Vol­un­teer Bush­fire Bri­gade vol­un­teer Alan Dar­nell hoped more young res­i­dents would con­sider join­ing.

“Many of us are get­ting too old to be drag­ging hoses around and run­ning around on the ground these days — it’s time for the younger generation to step up,” he said.

“When we get a fire it tends to be a pile of oldies run­ning or try­ing to run around.”

Contact Mr Lloyd on 9780 5285.

Pic­ture: AMR Shire

The Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River has a hand­ful of young vol­un­teers but is scout­ing for more.

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