As fires continue to spread and burn across Australia, the majority of the people battling these blazes are in fact volunteer fireys.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services only cover the more urban parts of Queensland meaning that most rural and semi-rural areas are left without fire service coverage. This is where the Rural Fire Service and the selfless firefighting volunteers come in. Made up of 33,000 men and women who freely give up their time, the rural fire service is divided into roughly 1400 rural fire brigades.
Given the fact that the potential for fire can massively vary in any given part of Australia at any given time, it simply isn’t feasible to have large teams of full-time firefighters across the entire nation. A swift spike in temperature or sudden change in wind can lead to drastic outcomes, and so the volunteer firefighters need to be ready to jump into action wherever and whenever they’re needed.
With around 80 fires burning consistently around Queensland for the last couple of weeks, these volunteer firefighters have been working round the clock to save the lives of people, pets, livestock and wild animals, and homes often in situations which have been deemed ‘catastrophic’.
These two volunteer firefighters, Ben and Josh, were praised on social media after the Tallebudgera Valley Rural Fire Brigade Facebook page posted this photo. The men were captured seeking out some “cleanish air” to take a breather during their 14-hour shift. Many people praised the men for their tireless work and for managing smiles despite their obvious exhaustion. Members of the community have hailed them as “real-life superheroes” and making “admirable sacrifices”.
Many of these men and women have careers, partners and families that they could be spending their time with and investing their energy into but instead, they chose to go out and fight to save the people and wildlife of Queensland.
“The fireys are amazing, can’t praise them enough. These fires have been burning for weeks and they just keep on keeping on, they all have families, homes and properties that they leave behind to keep everyone else safe, can’t thank them enough,”- News.com.au
What do the Rural Fire Brigades do?
Volunteer firefighters are dedicated to their roles the entire year-round and below we have listed some of the duties which they fulfil each year:
- Vehicle accident rescues
- Water rescue
- Control of landscape, structural or vehicle fires
- Storm and natural disaster first responders
- Fire safety
- Hazardous condition incidents
- Land, marine, air and urban search and rescue
- Crime scene, missing person and forensic searches
- Animal disease outbreaks
At Austates, we proudly support the firefighters battling blazes all over Australia and we encourage you to do what you can to help no matter how big or small. From donating money, burn gel or eye drops to delivering cold drinks to firefighters to help keep them hydrated, there are lots of ways that you can contribute.