Hills fires spark rush of FESA emergency service volunteers

Hills fires spark rush of FESA emergency service volunteers

02 March 2011

published by www.perthnow.com.au


Australia — FESA has received hundreds of phone calls from people eager to become emergency service volunteers after seeing the devastation of the States worst bushfire which affected the Perth hills.

At the height of the Roleystone bushfire that destroyed 71 homes FESA was receiving an average of 50 calls a day from people wanting to help.

FESA Manager Youth and Volunteer Services Merveen Cross said it was fantastic to see such a large number of generous, community spirited people in the community.

“We’ve received hundreds of calls from people who saw the impact of the fire and were so moved they wanted to help by becoming a volunteer, or donate goods, money or time,” Ms Cross said.

“If there is one positive thing to come out of the devastating bushfire its the generosity of the Perth community.”

An American firefighter who had arrived in Perth only two weeks before the fire phoned to enquire about volunteering.

He saw the fires on television and wanted to use his skills to become a volunteer to help out WA, she said.

He’s now in the process of signing up to be part of the Bush Fire Service.

We even had a call from a person in Turkey wanting to help.

FESA has more than 32,000 volunteers in Western Australia that play a crucial role in supporting communities when they need it most.

“We can never have enough volunteers, they play a tremendous role in protecting people in times of need often foregoing other commitments in their lives,” she said.

“They also put in a mammoth effort during the Roleystone bushfire which is commendable.”

Ms Cross said becoming a volunteer was immensely rewarding but was not instantaneous as people needed to undergo specialist training to ensure they have the skills and are well equipped in their roles.

“We encourage people to contact us to join but please be patient and understand that were not going to put you out on the field until you are properly trained,” she said.
 


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