In response to a request from WA Police (via DFES), the association has given in-principle support for volunteers to be asked if they are willing and able to assist with the control of movements between regions.
Our decision to support the request was carefully considered and taken after confirming that deployments would be entirely voluntary, careful to not accept volunteers who are considered at high risk of contracting the virus AND for physical safety, that Police would be present at any roadblock our members are being asked to support.
We know this work isn’t the core business of our incredible members but took the position to support WA Police based on what we know about the underlying culture of our service – when the poo hits the fan, we roll up our sleeves and do what we can to help. The message we get from our members loud and clear is that the great strength of our model of separated emergency services with deep specialist skills and knowledge, when something major comes along they combine to be a team stronger than what would be possible if we had just one generic service.
We have also made urgent representations to the State Government to ask that legislative amendments being introduced to provide stronger protection for public officers working in COVID-19 response are carefully worded to ensure Local Government Bush Fire Volunteers are not inadvertently overlooked as a result of their 3rd party relationship with the “State”.
And as always – like so many of our amazing members – we have been doing our best to work together with DFES and every other stakeholder both directly on COVID-19 response and all the other very important things that simply can’t stop.
The association will always try to stay up to date with current information, be part of the solution and share important knowledge about COVID-19 or any other risk with our amazing members.
We have your back.