Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has celebrated National Volunteer Week (20-26 May) by releasing a commemorative lapel pin that recognises the hard work and dedication of the tens of thousands of volunteers across the State who help keep Queenslanders safe.
QFES volunteers were today among the first to be presented with the Emergency Services Volunteer pin during its launch in Brisbane.
The pin will also be available to volunteer partners including Red Cross, Volunteer Marine Rescue, Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, Surf Life Saving, Royal Life Saving Society Queensland, Local Ambulance Committee and Police Citizen Youth Club.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said the pin, with the Maltese Cross at its centre, featured a simple design that captured the spirit of volunteering through inclusivity.
“After the past six months of natural disasters – from catastrophic bushfires to cyclones and flooding rains, I can think of no better time to launch this symbol of the Palaszczuk Government’s appreciation for all the work our volunteers do,” Mr Crawford said.
“But we know our volunteers aren’t just in action when Mother Nature throws her fury at us.
“On weekends, our beaches are patrolled by volunteers; our cats are being rescued from trees by them; and our kids are being safely entertained at our community PCYCs.
“Volunteers who have been active for more than 12 months will be eligible to receive the pin during annual celebrations for National Volunteer Week and I know that they will wear this symbol of our gratitude with pride.
“So take time during National Volunteer Week to say thank you to a volunteer, not just those on the frontline but also the ones behind the scenes coordinating logistics, catering and doing so much more.”
QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said more than 42,000 volunteers were signed on within the organisation’s ranks.
“With 36,000 Rural Fire Service (RFS) and 6,000 SES volunteers, bolstered by a highly-trained group of doctors, engineers and canine specialists that form the Disaster Aid Response Team (DART) and our network of scientific advisors and Peer Support Officers, Queensland is well and truly in good hands,” Ms Carroll said.
“Cyclones, flooding and an unprecedented bushfire season have tested the strength and resilience of our communities from the Cape to the border in the past six months,” she said.
“The response and recovery efforts of our volunteers, who worked tirelessly to assist communities before, during and after these events, was nothing short of extraordinary.
“I am incredibly proud of their efforts and delighted the new pin will provide an opportunity to boost recognition for our dedicated volunteer workforce.”
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford