darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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May 31, 2013

Federal Parliament has been told of the need for younger volunteer firefighters to join the Country Fire Authority by The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.

Mr Chester made the comments during a speech in which he paid tribute to the efforts of all firefighters across Gippsland.

He told Parliament that he could think of no better organisation to recommend to people in the local community than the Country Fire Authority (CFA).

“At the start of this year, I encouraged Gippslanders to consider what contribution they could make to the community and whether they would be prepared to volunteer some of their time to join a community organisation,” Mr Chester told Parliament.

“The CFA is one of the most highly respected and iconic community service organisations in our nation. The role of our CFA volunteers, in particular, in rural communities is something that deserves recognition.”

Mr Chester said a lot of CFA volunteers were getting towards the more mature stage of their volunteer life and are working hard to encourage younger people to participate.

“There is only one thing that it costs you to become a CFA volunteer, and that is your time,” Mr Chester said.

“The CFA itself provides all the training and equipment, and that is obviously very important for the proper conduct of its roles.”

Mr Chester said there was a job for everyone in the CFA.

“There are roles which go beyond the most obvious operational ones of firefighting, accident rescue missions, crew leadership, communications, all forms of emergency response, incident controller, pump operator and so on,” Mr Chester said.

“There are also non-operational roles, where perhaps people who might not necessarily have originally thought of themselves as a CFA volunteer can play a very important part behind the scenes.

“Being a CFA volunteer allows the individual to also develop a range of skills which will serve them well in life.

“They learn leadership and other professional development skills. They receive accredited training which is recognised throughout the world. It is also an opportunity for them to work as part of a team and to meet new people in regional communities.

“I encourage Gippslanders who have thought about perhaps donating their time to any community service to consider what role they might play within the CFA.”

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