Fewer volunteers join CFS ranks

Fewer volunteers join CFS ranks

7 December 2009

published by www.news.com.au

Australia — Volunteer firefighter numbers across the state have fallen over the past year despite expectation of a surge in the wake of this year’s Victorian Bushfires.

The SA Fire and Emergency Services Commission report, tabled in Parliament, reveals the total number of CFS volunteers dropped by 296 to 15,415 in the financial year ending June.

The number of SES members fell by 205 to 1623. Emergency Services Minister Michael Wright, above, said the state was “fortunate” to have as many volunteers as it did.

“Volunteering, by its very nature, is cyclical, with membership highs and lows largely dependent on operational activity and public profile of the organisation,” he said.

“Other factors contributing to fluctuations include people who volunteer for one off events such as a major natural disaster.

Despite an overall fall in numbers over the year, Mr Wright said there was noticable increase in SA volunteers following the Victorian fires.

“Individuals may also opt to volunteer for shorter periods of time and are more likely to volunteer for several different organisations in their lifetime.

“All of our volunteers do a fantastic job in helping to protect our community. Their efforts, often in extreme and life-threatening situations, should never be taken for granted.

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