Who will man the trucks?

LOCAL CFS groups are sounding the sirens for more volunteers to join across the Mid North region.

With numbers slowly diminishing across the Wakefield region, CFS crews are struggling to fill their trucks, and captains are seeing the same regulars being called to emergencies with few or no others to fill in during times of need.

Wakefield Plains Group Officer, Syd Martin, is putting the call out for more volunteers to step up and lend a hand.

“You don’t have to go out and fight fires, there are plenty of different roles within a brigade you can help with – we always need someone in the station manning the radios, catering or even helping with administration” Syd said.

All eight groups located within the Wakefield region are in search of new members constantly to help share the workload especially with the fire danger season just around the corner.

Port Wakefield captain Warren Miller has seen a rapid decline in volunteers throughout his brigade and is worried just what the future holds for local brigades struggling with numbers.

“It can take up to 12 months to become a fully trained firefighter, so it’s a big loss when we lose members,” Warren said.

Those wanting to become a firefighter will be trained extensively in first aid, use of breathing apparatus, cleaning hazardous chemical spills, motor vehicle accidents, bush and structural fires, storm damages and floods.

“There are no out of pocket costs to becoming a volunteer firefighter, the CFS will pay for all of your training and gear needed to become fully certified,” Warren said.

After the 2019 bushfire season resulted in more than 10 million hectares being burnt, CFS captains are left wondering just why more volunteers haven’t stepped up to the plate.

“We are often seeing the same four or six people attending incidents every time with nobody there to back them up for when those same volunteers aren’t available. It’s putting a larger workload on those few people,” Warren said.

“The quicker we can get a team organised during an emergency, the faster we can respond which means we will have a higher success rate of stopping a fire or getting to a road accident earlier,” Warren said.

If you would like more information on joining the CFS or helping in some way, please head online to the CFS website to find your nearest brigade.