The work of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services volunteers has been highlighted during a workshop on the Gold Coast that coincided with National Volunteer Week.
State Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon represented Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford at the event, which was part of a state-wide roadshow during which the minister had visited communities across Queensland.
Ms Scanlon said the aim of the Nerang workshop was to receive feedback on the QFES Volunteerism Strategy, which was launched by the Minister and QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll late last year.
“The Palaszczuk Government has been really listening to and engaging with QFES volunteers in the past few months to get their feedback on implementing the state-wide Volunteerism Strategy,” she said.
Mr Crawford said there were about there were about 40,000 incredible QFES volunteers across Queensland who had great insights to help produce the best strategy possible.
“In QFES’ South Eastern Region alone we have about 900 SES volunteers and 3,400 Rural Fire Service volunteers,” he said.
“And, of course, there are our Surf Lifesaving Queensland, Coast Guard and Voluntary Marine Rescue personnel who work tirelessly to keep us safe both on and in the water.
“This strategy will help QFES continue to improve its volunteer workforce through new and more options and opportunities for volunteers, as well as help them forge closer relationships with their communities, which is vital in times of disaster.
“In the past 12 months I have attended workshops in Redcliffe, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Redlands, Townsville, Cairns and Caloundra, and I’m humbled by the passion and heart of the volunteers who come along.
“The feedback we have received so far has been invaluable and it gives our volunteers the opportunity to help QFES transform into an adaptive and modern workforce that will be strongly positioned to serve the community for many years to come.”
QFES Deputy Commissioner for Emergency Management, Volunteerism and Community Resilience Mike Wassing said volunteers were vital to QFES operations.
“It is vital our volunteers and staff are well informed about our new strategy and these state-wide workshops are instrumental in that,” Mr Wassing said.
“These workshops also give our volunteers the opportunity to have their questions answered, and we’ll continue to help grow their capabilities and find more opportunities to improve Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.”
QFES has a dedicated volunteer workforce, comprising volunteers from the Rural Fire Service (RFS), the State Emergency Service (SES), peer support, research and scientific, and technical rescue.