The contributions of more than 40,000 Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) volunteers is being celebrated today to mark International Volunteer Day.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said today was an opportunity to recognise the hundreds of thousands of hours QFES volunteers had already dedicated to Queensland communities.
“Queensland has faced some extreme weather conditions and events in the past year and each time our volunteers from the State Emergency Service, Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue Service were there to help,” Mr Crawford said.
“QFES’ volunteer workforce not only encompasses frontline response but many other roles including Peer Support Officers, Urban Search and Rescue volunteers, scientific volunteers, volunteer auxiliary and retired firefighters and chaplains.”
The theme of this year’s International Volunteer Day is “Volunteer for an Inclusive Future”, which is about highlighting volunteers contributing to inclusion and reducing inequality.
Mr Crawford marked the occasion in Cairns, joining local SES and RFS volunteers at the Captain Cook Boat Ramp for a barbeque breakfast.
“Volunteering provides everyone the opportunity to play an important role in the community across a variety of different areas, no matter their age, gender or skill set," he said.
“From fires, to floods and cyclones to search and rescue operations and chemical incidents- volunteers ensure we can respond effectively to whatever comes our way.
“The men and women in orange have completed more than 17,600 hours of activity in the Far North since July and I couldn’t be any prouder.”
QFES Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing said there was about 33,000 RFS volunteers and more than 5,000 active SES volunteers who dedicated countless hours to Queensland.
“Queensland is experiencing weather events it has not seen before, including numerous periods of severe bushfire conditions in the past few months alone,” Mr Wassing said.
“With many of those fires striking rural communities, our volunteer workforce was on scene quickly, which is a crucial factor when it comes to saving lives and property.”
Mr Wassing extended his thanks to each QFES volunteer for their contribution and encouraged all Queenslanders to recognise the hard work and dedication of volunteers both on the front line and behind the scenes.
“I would also like to acknowledge the volunteers we work with from our partner emergency organisations and local groups who are instrumental in creating connected and resilient communities,” he said.
“It is important as well to thank the family, friends and employers of our volunteers who have allowed them to undertake this vitally important work during recent disasters.”
For more information about volunteering with QFES, visit qfes.qld.gov.au/employment/category/community-volunteers.html
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford