Despite being in a small community the Glenlyon Junior Fire Brigade has more than 20 members.
The brigade’s retention rate is extremely high and some of the Juniors’ parents are interested in becoming senior members.
Eight months ago Jess Newton joined CFA and started the Glenlyon Junior Brigade alongside her husband Russell who’s been a CFA volunteer for more than 20 years.
Jess wanted to start a Junior brigade to allow young members to come together and learn about firefighting in a safe and inclusive environment. With the support of the Youth Programs Coordinator Nathan Linton, Jess was able to get the Junior brigade up and running.
Jess used social media to promote the Junior brigade and had to put a limit on the number of members because of the enthusiastic response from young people in the community.
Ethan, a Junior brigade member, joined the brigade in September.
“I joined the brigade because if there was a fire near my house, I’d know what to do,” Ethan said.
“When I first joined I didn’t really know anyone but now I have some really good friends in the brigade. They really encourage me to get involved.”
The Glenlyon Junior Brigade has a high retention rate.
“I think we have a really good communication method,” Jess said. “I speak to the families through text messages during the week, whether it’s about something going on with the kids personally, or if we have an extra session running.
“I also think a big part of the sessions is the fun and the interactive environment we can give them.”
“I think our retention rate is so high because of the frequency of our training. We train with the Juniors each week which allows their skills and interests to stay in the forefront of their minds.
“The kids bring this life with them which makes the brigade more family orientated, and in turn this encourages recruitment at a senior level.”
Linkin, a Junior brigade member looks forward to coming down to the fire station each week to learn new skills.
“The best thing about being a Junior is being able to communicate on radios and being able to roll out hoses,” Linkin said. “I’d love to be a senior member at Glenlyon when I’m older.”