Rewards of joining huge
On December 6 the world recognised its volunteers.
Volunteerism contributes to the core of our communities and volunteer firefighters make up a huge part of the fire service’s unpaid workforce.
Most of our country towns and small communities including Matamata are familiar with the sound of the fire sirens, the high visibility of the red fire trucks and the enduring scenes of firefighters busy working in the capacity of rescuers and lifesavers on our roads, in our homes and at our workplaces.
Many children, too, will recall with enthusiasm their local heroes visiting their school to deliver the Firewise programme and attending their local gala.
They were also the ones who scattered the most lollies from their shiny red trucks at the local Christmas Parade.
What many people may not know is that these firefighters are volunteers who have committed to a lifetime of weekly training and being available to carry out emergency work at the drop of a hat.
This means they are often called away from their normal paid work, families and friends to undertake rescue tasks that most of us would be reluctant to face.
Families and employers are committed too, as they face the inevitable disruption and sacrifice of emergency callouts.
Eastern Waikato Fire Area Manager Brent Mortensen said volunteers are exceptional people who come from many walks of life and have a strong sense of commitment to their community.
Volunteers often talk about the great friends and the strong sense of camaraderie they build in their work, and the opportunities to develop many employment and life skills.
The Fire Service would not be able to function without volunteers and they contribute significantly to our economy and the fabric of our communities.
We value our Volunteers and I would like thank all our people for their tremen- dous efforts through what has been a particularly challenging year.
For further information, especially regarding joining the Fire Service volunteers, contact Peter Baylis on 027 470 0165, Shane Bromley on 027 279 1071 or on Kim Veldsman 07 867 9052.