Firefighting heroes deserve all our support

Raelene HallMidwest Times
Firefighters battle a spot fire in NSW last week. Volunteer firefighters are real heroes.
Camera IconFirefighters battle a spot fire in NSW last week. Volunteer firefighters are real heroes. Credit: Getty Images

Volunteers for any organisation are the salt of the earth here in Australia.

I doubt our country would actually function without them.

The lack of volunteers in some areas such as country ambulance and fire services is a worrying trend.

The work of volunteer firefighters across the country never ceases to amaze me.

As a voluntary role, it would have to be one of the most strenuous, dangerous and heartbreaking areas to work in.

Having to wear all the heatproof gear in front of a raging inferno of hundreds of degrees takes a special sort of person.

What is also heartwarming is to see the acknowledgement by others of their untiring work — people leaving their homes open for them to access food/water/rest, groups making meals to feed them, and messages left everywhere thanking them for their selflessness.

Some put their hand up to travel interstate, leaving their home and family behind to support fellow volunteers on the fire fronts.

This is the real Australia we have always known and loved, where people put others before themselves and do whatever they can to help.

As one who has never been involved in or even near a bushfire, the courage of these men and women, as seen on the television and social media, makes me feel proud to be Australian.

While there is an enormous amount of goodwill and donations generated for the victims of bushfires (some of whom are firefighters themselves) it seems to me it would be a golden opportunity to raise some funds for the volunteer firefighter groups themselves

Every volunteer firefighting agency in the country should have the latest and best equipment required to do their job.

It’s not about having a shiny new fire engine to show off but ensuring that fire engine isn’t going to break down in the middle of a fire, trapping and, possibly, killing, its occupants.

It’s about having hoses, helmets and clothing that will help eliminate fires and protect the firefighters.

As well as raising funds, let’s all make an effort to acknowledge these fabulous volunteers.

If you see them after a fire, buy them an ice-cream or a beer, cook them a meal, or offer your assistance in another way.

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