CFS calls for volunteers

CFS calls for volunteers

26 October 2010

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Australia —  HILLS CFS brigades are about to enter the bushfire season with a shortage of volunteers that will hinder the support available to firefighters, Sturt CFS group officer Dale Thompson says.

The group needs to recruit at least six volunteers to its “operation support team”, which supports frontline firefighters.

“Without them, we basically don’t have a link between the fire ground and the services that support the firefighters,” Mr Thompson said last week.

“The workload they have now, they’re doing a lot more than they used to.”

The Sturt team, which supports the Blackwood, Belair, Eden Hills, Coromandel Valley and Cherry Gardens brigades, is responsible for a range of tasks from its Belair base on Sheoak Rd.

It co-ordinates radio communication, briefs relief crews and organises food and water for crews on the fire ground.

Mr Thompson said it was becoming harder to recruit volunteers.

“Everyone is working longer and doing other things in their spare time,” he said. “We’re trying to be proactive and get more members before the fire season.”

Blackwood resident Robin Kershaw has been a support-team volunteer for three years.

“I was semi-retired and I had always wanted to be involved with the CFS so it seemed like the ideal time to do it,” he said.

“I think it’s the most important of the services in our area because a fire is the one thing that can destroy the community.

“We do all of the things that are necessary to keep the firefighters on the fire ground.”

The team – at present numbering seven – trains on Fridays.

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