Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford – a former Victorian rural firefighter – today (Tuesday) urged Queenslanders to show their support on Yellow Ribbon Day for the state’s 36,000 Rural Fire Service (RFS) volunteers.
Mr Crawford said it was important to acknowledge the countless hours and enormous contributions RFS volunteers made to “ensuring Queensland is a safer place”.
“I became a volunteer member of the local fire brigade in country Victoria when I was 17, so I know first-hand the dedication and pride that comes with helping make their communities safer,” Mr Crawford said.
“Brigade members spend countless hours away from families and friends, volunteering their time to put the needs of the community first.
“Many brigades not only fight bushfires, but also provide support and assistance during a range of emergency events. They protect and support communities against any threat, including storms, cyclones, and road traffic crashes.
“Today we can all recognise the commitment and applaud the efforts of these volunteers by wearing a yellow ribbon,” Mr Crawford said.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll said RFS volunteers were much more than just firefighters as “they are often leaders and mentors and form the backbone of their communities.”
“We are highly dependent on volunteers in our communities as they help local land owners with fire mitigation activities and participate in regional training exercises to ensure they are ready to respond when disaster strikes,” Ms Carroll said.
“Today is about ensuring everyone recognises the level of commitment, professionalism and contributions made by brigades and volunteers in their communities.”
Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland (RFBAQ) general manager Justin Choveaux said this year’s Yellow Ribbon Day – a RFBAQ initiative – held special significance “for all firefighters”.
“The 2018 bushfire season is testing the strength and resolve of all firefighters; full time, part time and volunteer,” Mr Choveaux said.
“If you know of a volunteer, are a volunteer, or value the commitment made by Rural Fire Brigades, wear a yellow ribbon to support those who wear the yellow coats and ride the yellow trucks.
“Today is the first Parliamentary sitting day in October, and wearing a yellow ribbon is also a visible way for MPs to show their support for the volunteer firefighters and brigades who are currently out protecting communities across 93% of Queensland.”
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Craig Crawford