Queensland Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford
Fire And Emergency Volunteering On The Agenda At Toowoomba Workshop
Victor P Taffa
Minister Crawford visited Toowoomba as part of a statewide roadshow to discuss the implementation plan for QFES’ Volunteerism Strategy.
“Growing QFES together.”
That’s the message Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford discussed at a workshop with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services staff and volunteers in Toowoomba.
“In the South West Region, including the Darling Downs, we have more than 5,000 volunteers with the State Emergency Service and the Rural Fire Service and, quite frankly, I don’t know where we’d be without them, especially when disaster strikes.” Minister Crawford said.
“As a former volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years I understand the sacrifices made to make sure Queenslanders are safe and for that I thank you.”
“Across Queensland we now have more than 45,000 QFES volunteers and we want to get feedback from as many as possible about the strategy and the best way to put it in place.” Minister Crawford said.
“We know that the volunteer landscape is ever-changing and that is why it is important to talk with our volunteers and answer any questions they may have about the new strategy.”
“These workshops will help QFES staff and volunteers understand the aims of the strategy, its benefits and challenges and how these issues could affect volunteering.”
Minister Crawford said the Volunteerism Strategy was formed on the back of the 2016 QFES Volunteer Survey, when more than 600 volunteers and staff provided feedback from 20 workshops.
“By heading back on the road, we can ensure QFES’s volunteer culture remains strong, so our workforce can continue to provide essential services to all Queensland communities.”
“Challenges we face with our volunteers include an ageing population, a time-poor society, competing priorities, and the emergence of new technologies.”
QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the QFES volunteer workforce also included some members of the state’s Fire and Rescue Service in the areas of peer support, research, scientific and technical rescue.
“Using feedback from the survey and the new Volunteerism Strategy, we want to make sure we further engage with all of our volunteers and staff across these areas to implement positive changes.” Commissioner Carroll said.
“We will focus on areas such as training, communication and leadership, which were highlighted as areas for importance for our workforce.”
“QFES will work alongside volunteers and staff to improve their experience, which will allow them to further excel in their important roles in our communities.” Commissioner Carroll said.