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RFS volunteers needed (Community service announcement)

By Thumper 14 November 2006 27

It appears that the RFS (Rural Fire Service) is currently running at a bit over 50% of its optimum manning level.

As such I put it to all the RiotACTers and others to check out what it takes to become an RFS volunteer. Sure, it takes time, dedication, and the will to see it through, and the rewards are certainly not great, however, the RFS is a vital part of our community and will remain so.

Information about joining the RFS can be found here.

Interestingly, I went to an SES awards ceremony last night where a number of long serving SES members recieved very nice, framed certificates for their service. Tony Graham mentioned, in his lead up speech, that the average time a person spends in SES is about three years so it is reasonable to expect that this is the same for the RFS.

Both SES and RFS do have a retention problem so I will again implore anyone that is interested to explore the possibility of joining, not only RFS, but alternatively, the SES.

As I said, it’s hard, tiring, sometimes boring, dirty work, yet it is for the greater good of the community.

Think about it.

ESA website is here.

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27 Responses to
RFS volunteers needed (Community service announcement)
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Mælinar 4:06 pm 18 Feb 08

Its also a proven fact that you pick up more single girls in orange overalls than the yellow ones.

Some parts of what I just said may contain factual inaccuracies that are simply just unproven.

Thumper 3:32 pm 18 Feb 08
Skidbladnir 3:28 pm 18 Feb 08

Revisiting a very old thread…

Whats involved with volunteering at the moment, and where can we get more info, if we’re fit willing, and look dashingly handsome in overalls?

(none of these links work anymore)

Big Al 4:08 pm 23 Nov 06

With a couple more names they might even let us have our very own Riot-ACT squad!

I suspect that my fire-line days are behind me, but I can operate a barby pretty well and I once organised a piss-up at a brewery – these might be useful skills – looks like I should get off my fat arse as well.

Maelinar 3:51 pm 23 Nov 06

As a less than recent volunteer I can give you a couple of tips towards joining SES or RFS.

Firstly, become aware of the shed closest to your house (that’s the likeliest place you will get assigned to – notwithstanding you can just transfer there at a later date if you don’t like your assigned unit anyway)

Secondly, go there; Wednesday nights for RFS, Thursday nights for SES. Say to the chap who greets you at the door that you are interested in joining up and hang out with them for the rest of the night. With any luck you may get a fancy pair of overalls to wear, and be included in any activity, but don’t count on it too much as it depends on the activity.

Thirdly, If the shed isn’t too rigid, you may even get the opportunity to discuss important matters of the day and radical theoretical concepts over some amber liquid at the end of the night – without being presumptuous about hanging out with a group of alcoholics or anything else ESA may care to read into this sentence since I know you are reading it, you can actually learn whether or not you would like to be in the SES or RFS, and a lot about what they really do from the tales they weave. You also bond to the group and form team comradere that will last a lifetime if conditions are right.

Fourthly, don’t give up. I registered to become a volunteer in november/december and finally made it to orientation training in about April/May the following year. While the training team and recruitment for me was glacially slow, the rest of the SES/RFS are not, so please do not be demoralised by their inaction. During that time, you should be more than welcome to return to the shed you showed up at, and it goes a long way towards your trial period (all units have a trial period where your acceptance into the team is assessed).

J Dawg 11:47 pm 15 Nov 06

The big burns these days like the campaign fires of 2003 or interstate support consisted mainly of vol crews well past middle age. Everyone else is to busy.


Whilst a significant portion of my brigade is around middle aged, 90% of the people who joined from the last intake were uni-student age! And the crews are definitely not past middle age. Times are changing, more youth are involved.

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