Volunteer advisory group announced on Yellow Ribbon Day

State Government announced the re-establishment of an important volunteer advisory group while paying tribute to the hard work of Rural Fire Service volunteers on Yellow Ribbon Day.

Yellow Ribbon Day was last Tuesday the 11th of October and highlighted the efforts of the 36,000 Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteers who sacrificed their own time helping fellow Queenslanders in need.

This group will advise the Government on how best to support and strengthen the emergency services volunteer sector while overseeing a broader program of volunteer recognition.

Queensland’s emergency services’ volunteer network, including rural fire volunteers, will be strengthened and supported by the re-establishment of this key advisory body, which will serve as a blueprint for the future of volunteering across the state.

Initiatives to be established as part of the strategy include an Emergency Volunteer Register, and a Leadership Development Centre. The terms of reference and committee membership will be released soon from State Government.

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the Emergency Services Advisory Council was good news for local volunteers operating within Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and other volunteering organisations across the state.

“Our volunteers take on many different roles before, during and after incidents, from frontline fire mitigation to fighting bushfires, or behind the scenes providing support,” Mr Butcher said.

“They support Gladstone locals in times of crisis, including bushfires, structure fires and road traffic crashes, so we are privileged to benefit from their knowledge and skills.”

QFES Deputy Commissioner for Emergency Services Volunteers Mike Wassing said every rural firefighter played a vital role in emergency response and community preparedness.

“We are highly dependent on volunteers, and our emergency response is strengthened by each and every hour donated by our dedicated workforce,” Mr Wassing said.

“Being a RFS volunteer encompasses a wide variety of activities, which are at the forefront of keeping communities safe.

“Not only do our rural firefighters provide valuable assistance in emergency situations, they also take part in several community education activities, which help build community awareness and resilience.

“They spend countless hours training and upskilling, to ensure they are ready at a drop of the hat.

“It is important to take the time to acknowledge the hard work these firefighters undertake and thank them for the role they play in protecting the community.”

For more information on volunteering for RFS visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/Volunteering