While almost everything has to stop to limit the transmission of COVID-19, our incredible members are still on call 24/7 and responding to emergencies (as well as helping police at roadblocks) because, well, they are amazing.

At around this time every year, Brigade Captains and other leaders within WA’s Volunteer Bush Fire Service are also thinking about the future – and specifically how to recruit, train and retain the critical mass of volunteers required for their individual Brigade to be ready for the next period of high fire risk.

Many plans (including ours) for volunteer recruitment campaigns are being re-calibrated to adjust to the current COVID-19 restrictions. Bushfire Volunteers is still planning a media campaign in May to focus community attention on the need for new volunteers but frankly, we don’t know how individual Brigades might manage assuming the common “sign up at a training night” won’t be available.

There is no doubt that we all need to be following the best advice available from our government health experts. But there’s also an absolutely critical need for Local Government Brigades to ensure that they have enough volunteers with at least the basic training completed ready to respond by the last quarter of 2020 – whether the rest of the community is in lock-down or not.

So how do we help you do that?

Does your Brigade have a plan for recruitment and training this year?

Do you need teleconferencing equipment and/or services that we might help you get? (Complete our quick quiz to help with this)

Are you open to new recruits now? If not, when? How will you sign them up?

Do you have the computers and software you need to sign people up electronically?

Help us help you – share your thoughts, needs and ideas about this challenging issue by email to members@bushfire.org.au

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