QUEENSLANDERS are being encouraged to thank their local Rural Fire Service volunteers or become a rural firefighter as part of Rural Fire Service Week which kicks off this Sunday.
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said the week is a great opportunity to commend the work RFS volunteers do for their fellow community members to keep them safe.
“With bushfire season upon us, our rural firefighters will be out in full force keeping our state safe from potential damaging fires, willingly giving up hours of their own time to protect their communities,” Minister Ryan said.
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“The RFS has more than 36,000 volunteers spread throughout Queensland to assist when a disaster strikes.
“These volunteers put in many hours of their own time, including taking time off from their jobs or temporarily closing their businesses, as well as being away from their loved ones to help those in need.
“I encourage everyone to use RFS Week to say ‘thanks’ to the amazing, inspiring and hardworking RFS volunteers for their continued dedication to the safety of Queenslanders.”
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll said residents could go one step further during RFS Week by ensuring they, along with their families, were bushfire prepared.
“What better way to thank rural firefighters than by preparing yourself which would help them out in an emergency?” Ms Carroll said.
“A bushfire can strike at any time, so it is important for families to sit down now to discuss their Bushfire Survival Plan and what actions they would take if it impacted their property.
“This is the ideal time to chat with your local brigade regarding any questions you may have about mitigation activities, such as a Permit to Burn or a fire management plan for your property.
“Our rural firefighters take great pleasure in being able to pass on their knowledge and advice, and seeing it make a difference by achieving bushfire prepared and resilient communities.”
Ms Carroll also encouraged rural and semi-rural residents looking to make a difference in their community, to consider becoming a RFS volunteer.
“Committing time and skills to volunteer in your community is an honourable act and the RFS is always looking for enthusiastic, committed individuals from all walks of life,” she said.
“There are many diverse roles available, not only for frontline operations but also support positions including chairperson, secretary and volunteer community educators.
“There is no better time than this week to head on down and discuss the possibilities of being part of the RFS with your local brigade.”
For further information about bushfire preparation, including downloading a Bushfire Survival Plan and joining RFS, please visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au