RFSA praises Volunteers' Community Spirit
Wednesday, 08 June 2016
RFSA President Ken Middleton has praised the collaborative efforts and community spirit of volunteers from the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS), the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES), Surf Life Saving NSW, the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA), Marine Rescue NSW (MRNSW) and casual volunteers who have worked together across the weekend and over the last few days to protect and assist the community of NSW from the effects of the severe storms and flooding caused by the East Coast low.
“Typically, when people think of the role of our members, they picture them fighting fires, raising awareness of fire preparedness or in attendance at road accidents however our members’ over-riding aim is to offer the support and skills to protect the community.
“NSW RFS members have worked side by side with other emergency service volunteers and personnel to combat the effects of the extreme weather and assist residents who experienced damage to their properties.
“Over 100 people formed a production line to fill more than 7000 sand bags at Collaroy, NSW RFS incident management specialists spent the weekend helping the NSW SES coordinate the response to help storm affected communities and volunteers across the State are selflessly giving up their own time to help those who need it after the severe weather. It’s these kind of actions that typify the volunteer ethos,” Mr Middleton said.
“It is also vital to acknowledge that the assistance volunteers provide is not only of a personal and community benefit but also provides fiscal benefits to the insurance industry, saving on clean up labour costs and minimising damage with interim repairs.
“The community spirit and value of volunteers cannot be underestimated.”
* The contribution of NSW RFS Service volunteers’ service alone to the people of NSW and the State Government has been assessed at $1.3 billion per annum (Deloitte, 2012).