FIRIES NEED LO­CALS

Western Times - - FRONT PAGE - Jorja McDon­nell jorja.mcdon­[email protected]­ern­starnews.com

FIRE sta­tions across the south­west have put out the call for new peo­ple to fill their halls and their trucks this year.

Area com­mands and aux­il­iary sta­tions of the Queens­land Ru­ral Fire Bri­gade from Quilpie to St Ge­orge are search­ing for re­cruits who want to help out in their com­mu­ni­ties.

Any­one can get a lot from the ex­pe­ri­ence with their lo­cal RFS, Charleville Ru­ral Fire Bri­gade train­ing of­fi­cer Zac Fitzger­ald said.

“We want to en­tice peo­ple to do some­thing new and give back to their com­mu­nity in a dif­fer­ent way that they might not have thought about do­ing be­fore, and it is a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to join the ru­ral fire bri­gade,” he said.

“All of the train­ing – the Fire­fighter Min­i­mum Skills – is pro­vided, and a new mem­ber will get part­nered up with our cur­rent bri­gade mem­bers.

“They will help train new vol­un­teers up and get them to a fire-fighter level.

“Then, when we go out and do train­ing, it fur­ther en­hances their skills.”

On a lo­cal level, most brigades across south­west Queens­land do far more than fight­ing fires.

“We ran Op­er­a­tion Knock Knock, which was all about in­form­ing the com­mu­nity about be­ing pre­pared for the up­com­ing fire sea­son and storm sea­son, and how they can be bet­ter pre­pared for a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter if it does hap­pen,” Mr Fitzger­ald said.

“Some peo­ple do like get­ting in to give the com­mu­nity a hand and ed­u­cate them about what to do, and a lot of peo­ple think it is all lights and sirens.

“Most of the time we are do­ing our ba­sic train­ing, and then when the time does come, we are all ready to re­spond when we have to,” he said.

Lo­cal Area Com­mand sta­tions in the ru­ral fire ser­vice can an­swer ques­tions about vol­un­teer re­cruit­ment, and many aux­il­iary sta­tions also have fel­low vol­un­teers avail­able to con­tact.

PHOTO: FILE

FIRIES NEEDED: Zac Fitzger­ald and Caitlin Walker both started with the Charleville Ru­ral Fire Bri­gade in 2015.

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