Volunteers all over Queensland are being celebrated for the invaluable contributions they make to their communities today on International Volunteer Day (IVD).
Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan thanked the thousands of volunteers in Surf Life Saving Queensland, Royal Life Saving Society Queensland, Volunteers in Policing (VIPs), Crime Stoppers, Neighbourhood Watch, the Rural Fire Service (RFS), State Emergency Service (SES), marine rescue organisations (Coast Guard and Volunteer Marine Rescue), and the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) for their ongoing dedication and commitment to keeping Queenslanders safe.
“Recent years have seen a number of hardships for many people across Queensland, from bushfires to storms and devastating floods, and the outstanding efforts we have seen from our volunteers to get communities back on their feet has never wavered,” Minister Ryan said.
“There are more than 28,000 RFS volunteers, almost 6000 SES volunteers and thousands of volunteers from marine rescue organisations dedicating hundreds of thousands of hours in performing operations, as well as training and preparation, every single year.
“Those figures reinforce volunteers’ exceptional work ethic, and their importance in making sure Queenslanders are given a helping hand in trying times.”
Mr Ryan said Queensland’s emergency service volunteer groups were made up of community members of various backgrounds and professions but shared the common goal of responding to emergencies and disasters around the clock.
“Volunteering remains one of the most vital aspects of Queensland’s community safety and disaster response capabilities and the people who choose to volunteer play an integral role in not only protecting their communities, but providing a continued source of goodwill and positivity in their local areas.
“I also want to particularly pay tribute to the many volunteers who contribute to community safety, the people who give their time to vital organisations like Surf Life Saving Queensland, the Royal Life Saving Society Queensland, Crime Stoppers, Neighbourhood Watch and Volunteers in Policing.
“I can’t thank them enough for all that they do and wish them all a happy International Volunteer Day.”
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Greg Leach said IVD provided an important opportunity to reflect on the power of work undertaken by volunteers across the state every year.
“Each of our volunteers make unique and invaluable contributions to ensuring our communities are kept safe, informed and resilient through challenging and extreme weather events, as we have seen in recent times,” Mr Leach said.
“Our RFS volunteers remain dedicated year-round to fighting bushfires, undertaking bushfire mitigation, community education and providing emergency response to a plethora of different incidents.
“Our SES contingent are trained and ready to respond to a tremendous variety of tasks, such as flood boat operations, storm assistance, vertical or road crash rescue and land searches.
“We also have passionate members in our marine rescue organisations, who are often the first port of call for those in need on Queensland waterways.
“Within our Fire and Rescue Service we have volunteers in a variety or specialised roles including K9 Urban Search and Rescue handlers, scientific officers, peer support and chaplaincy.
“I’d like to thank each and every one of our volunteers for the positive influence they continue to have in their communities, as well as their families and loved ones for their ongoing support of these activities.”