CFA is celebrating its volunteers as part of National Volunteer Week, starting on Monday, 17 May through until Sunday, 23 May.
The recognition comes following a challenging 2020 that saw Victorian volunteers front and centre due to bushfires and a global pandemic response.
CFA has more than 54,000 volunteers across more than 1,200 brigades in Victoria and is one of the world’s largest volunteer emergency services.
Chief Officer Jason Heffernan, who was a volunteer firefighter himself, said it’s an incredibly rewarding experience to give back to your community.
“The diversity of skills and expertise that our volunteers bring to their CFA roles bolsters their brigades and is a significant strength of the organisation.”
“Our volunteers are tradies, lawyers, nurses and farmers. We’re bakers, small or large business owners, and students.
“CFA is also about so much more than just firefighting. With volunteer roles such as community educators, health and safety specialists, or financial supporters, we’re asking people if they can see themselves at CFA.”
This year’s National Volunteer Week theme Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine. calls for Australians to recognise the importance of volunteers, reconnect with our communities by giving our time, and reimagine how we can support our volunteers.
CO Heffernan recently completed a tour of Victoria to meet with volunteers across all 21 CFA Districts, and said he is immensely proud of CFA volunteers.
“Among the many benefits of the tour, it gave me the opportunity to personally thank our people for what they bring to CFA, and what they give back to their communities.
CFA Chief Executive Officer Natalie MacDonald said National Volunteer Week invites the entire Victorian community to join CFA in thanking volunteers for the fantastic work they do.
“This week, and every week, we thank our hard-working volunteers for the contributions they make to their local communities,” said CEO MacDonald.
“They sacrifice personal time with families and friends, put themselves in dangerous situations to protect strangers, and are leaders and educators in their communities.”
CFA and the Victorian Government are investing heavily in infrastructure, training and equipment to improve the volunteer experience and the service CFA delivers.
$126m is going towards 16 CFA fire stations, 50 new firefighting appliances, increased and improved training, new generation personal protective clothing and ICT upgrades.