The Feed published a social media callout to hear the voices of volunteer firefighters on the ground from Around Australia during this bushfire season and volunteers felt it was valuable to share their stories and concerns.
Some of the comments shared by firefighters include:
– ‘The hard part of this is the wish you do more, and when you cannot, I feel very useless’
– ‘There is a lot more to being a member than just fighting fires, training and other behind-the-scenes activities that chew up time.’
– “This is not a hobby, but indeed our way of helping people on what may be their worst day. Helping people get back to normal. It’s serious business’.
– “I think we all agree that the current volunteer model of doing this based on volunteer labour has to be reviewed at the end of this season.”
– “Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge facing volunteer emergency services is that of recruiting.’
The Feed also reached out to NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), and Victoria’s Country Fire Authority (CFA) to discuss the resourcing issues raised by the volunteers.