More than 22,000 or 82 per cent of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services personnel have now applied for a Blue Card, with the number climbing weekly.
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Craig Crawford said the safety of children is paramount to the Queensland Government and one of the range of measures put in place to ensure their protection was Blue Cards.
“I’m pleased to see most QFES personnel have applied for a Blue Card as part of the Working with Children Act that was passed in State Parliament.
Nearly 13,000 volunteers in the Rural Fire Service have applied for a Blue Card and just over 12,000 personnel have been issued Blue Cards – or 74 per cent.
“Every Rural Fire Service member is highly valued by QFES,” Mr Crawford said.
“COVID restrictions have prevented QFES from having the opportunity to reach out to personnel for one-on-one conversations.
“It is for this reason that I have asked QFES to delay any further processing until after the next fire season, enabling the Rural Fire volunteers to continue.
“This will ensure that QFES can speak with every volunteer,” he said.
Mr Crawford said contrary to reports, the number of RFS personnel who are yet to apply for a Blue Card will not impact QFES’ ability to maintain an effective fire and emergency response, including hazard mitigation activities that are currently under way.
“There are existing strategies in place to support areas where the ability of local personnel to respond to incidents may be limited.
“QFES personnel who didn’t apply for a Blue Card by the deadline date of 31 March this year, received a letter late last month advising them they’d be unable to continue their duties without one.”