Bush fire brigades set to open up across the Shire of Harvey next month in push to bring in more volunteers

Craig DuncanHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Volunteer Kevin McCarthy, Myalup bush fire brigade captain Paul Reynolds and Shire of Harvey safety services manager Haydn Jones.
Camera IconVolunteer Kevin McCarthy, Myalup bush fire brigade captain Paul Reynolds and Shire of Harvey safety services manager Haydn Jones. Credit: Craig Duncan

Bush fire brigades are opening their doors to the community next month across the Shire of Harvey in the hopes of drawing in more volunteers.

Stations will be opening their doors from 11am to 2pm on May 4 for the community to come in and learn what volunteering is all about.

Myalup bush fire brigade captain Paul Reynolds said every brigade would be open at the same time to make it easier for people to plan and visit their local community brigade.

Shire safety services manager Haydn Jones said it was great to include the community and give them a chance to see behind the doors of a station.

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“These open days will open the door for people who might think about joining but do not know how to actually become a member,” he said.

“This provides an open forum for people to come along across the whole shire to be able to be participate and be a part of it.”

Mr Jones said the initiative had been entirely driven by volunteers at the various brigades in an attempt to boost their numbers.

Mr Reynolds hopes more people will look at volunteering with the brigades as they needed more help than ever.

“We have gotten to the point where we have to get members from different brigades to come here so we can get a unit up and running,” he said.

“We are not isolated here; other stations are in the same situation.

“There’s a lot of brigades across the shire that need new people.”

Mr Jones said volunteering did not have to be a full commitment and could be as simple as giving one day a week.

“If you’re a shift worker, on your off week you can be available to be a volunteer,” he said.

“Or if you’re a person who works weekends, you can be a volunteer around mid-week.”

Mr Reynolds said any help that could be offered was valued by the brigade as the station was not looking only for volunteers willing to go out fighting fires.

“If you’re making a sandwich, it helps,” he said.

The Myalup brigade currently has members taking on dual roles as sectaries and treasurers, with volunteers willing to lessen the load behind the scenes being just as valuable.

Kevin McCarthy said he had retired only recently and found volunteering as an maintenance officer and active firefighter incredibly rewarding.

“It’s good to be able to come and do a bit of the maintenance and be available when I’m around,” he said.

“It’s enjoyable and you’re always learning new stuff.”

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