Rural Fire Service volunteers will be required to have Blue Cards by March 30, 2020. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
Rural Fire Service volunteers will be required to have Blue Cards by March 30, 2020. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

POLL: Compulsory Blue Cards for fireys divides local opinion

THE compulsory requirement for Rural Fire Service volunteers to possess Blue Cards which allow them to work safely with children, has upset some firefighters to the point where they are threatening to quit.

Morning Bulletin readers are divided in their opinions about the controversial issue so we've created a poll to see what you think.

After you've voted, keep scrolling down to see the best of our reader's feedback.

Do you think it should be compulsory for Rural Firefighters to get a Blue Card?

This poll ended on 05 December 2019.

Current Results

Yes

33%

No

66%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Lynette Anstey: I don't see why they are protesting. If you have nothing to hide then get a Blue Card and stop whinging about it. It is for the safety of everyone in the community. I am proud to say that I am a holder of a Blue Card.

Lindsay Burl: I know some who won't bother, why should they? Stuff the government and even you can't make them get one. They will just retire and take their skills and knowledge with them.

Glenn Skinner: So they do 100s of hours of volunteer work, putting themselves at significant risk (of which we are all grateful for) and the thing that stops them is a one page form and a picture they have to send in? No harder than getting your boat/fishing or drivers licence?

Barry Francis: Just another task for the volunteers to attend to. I have been a volunteer for around 40 years and I definitely will not bother. This is just another thing to bolster the paid fire (fighters).

Maurice Hetherington: Damn embarrassing, some idiot better explain to me. I am an 80 year old fire warden of 54 years. Who in his right mind would dream up such nonsense. Volunteers run the country, and a lot would walk away on principal you are doubting our integrity to me that is a hanging offence.

RFS volunteers protect a home on Wheelbarrow Ridge Road near Colo Heights south west of Sydney, on November 19, 2019.
RFS volunteers protect a home on Wheelbarrow Ridge Road near Colo Heights south west of Sydney, on November 19, 2019.

John Bolger: I see it as taking a lead in the community and presenting QFES in the best possible position. I can recall many occasions while we were in the ISA at schools, kindies and out and about interacting with children. Simply whether we are asked to present our card or not it's the 'right thing' to do. Oh and of course apart from a few minutes there is no cost to you.

Julie Terry: Gives a false sense of security.

Wendy Shan: Of course they need one. How would you feel if your child was abused by someone who was a volunteer?

Geoff Mcguiness: Maybe they have always been good people and don't think they should have to prove their innocence. What guarantee is a card anyway its just more govt nonsense most older aussies can't be stuffed with all the new age crap.

Katrina Sinclair: Blue Cards system only works if you haven't been caught.

Derek Nel: If a volunteer won't take 10 minutes to fill out a five page form to continue doing something they love... do they really love doing what they do. I really don't get what the big deal is. I'm a RFS member I have filled mine in and sent it off and I have no problem with that.

Russell Trombone: You already get a check done when you sign up to rurals - not sure how a Blue Card will be worth all the extra work for the department.

Damian Sloane: Can someone explain why we have to go on another register to volunteer. In 15 years as a firey I've not once had contact with young persons while performing my role.

Jason Moran: I can't see what the issue is I am a volunteer and have already got the blue card didn't cost anything. Emergency services have events every year that is family orientated and involves their children so I don't understand why they don't want to get blue cards.

Lyn Fletcher: The point is, that these heroes do a great job with demos at schools and other places that children attend. All the other services have to have them, St. John, SES and other volunteers. It's not needed to fight the fire, but is needed when they are at events.

Rhonda Finley: What a lot of crap, that is that they need a blue card. They come along to a burning building, and a family there.. sorry can't help you as I don't have a blue card. If there was such a concern it should have been done when they first signed on.

Barry Tennent: Does this mean if you come across a fire where there are children trapped and you don't have a blue card then you are not allowed to save them?

Col Smith: I too don't see the big deal..unless some people have something to hide.

Lyndel Onions: Blue cards aren't just about protecting children - but the elderly and anyone who is vulnerable and unable to defend themselves.

Sam N Jason Spann: Rules are rules and they are coming in next year whether we agree with it or not. It costs nothing but 10 minutes of your time to do. I really can't see the big deal, most of our rurals have already done theirs and have been approved.

Rural fire Brigade Truck on display.
Rural fire Brigade Truck on display.

Steve Clough: I can't see why they are making such a fuss every other emergency service has done or is doing their BlueCard.

June Birch: I don't think it's necessary but if the government want you to have one then they can pay for them to have it.

Drew Cole: All depends on if there are younger cadets I guess.

Bonfire Cartoons: I'm now retired but still do part time work. For over three years I've held a blue card and doing compliance and fire safety training in kindergartens, day care centres, private schools and including colleges in universities not once have I've been challenged to show my blue card. I do not know why. I've never had an opportunity to be alone around children as I'm always in an adult group such as carers or teachers or other site supervisiors. So I understand the intent but it has to be based on solid evidence that a blue card is paramount in the safety around children. By the way I've had to show my construction white card more often or not.

Marj Turnbull Lancaster: Absolute joke.

Susan Iles: That is so sad and why are they fearing it...

Lindsay Burl Ives: They are not fearing it they just can't be bothered with this BS; good on them.

Gayle Vea Vea: The nanny state at work again. Another revenue raiser and eventually we won't have the passionate who do this work. And don't give me the old furphy if you got nothing to hide.

Glenn Skinner: Blue cards have to be renewed - thus catching people who commit offences. I'm blown away by the sheer ignorance of this post. It is in place to protect our kids and everyone thinks it's a political football.

Melina Martini: Blue cards are free for volunteers. It's not revenue raising at all.

Michael Chadbone: Protecting our children is of the upmost importance.

Michael Newmann: For those asking why they need it... here's why.... it's being rolled out for all emergency services personnel across the country. Anybody who comes in contact with children will eventually have one. Only those that have something to hide fear the blue card.

Karen Wass: Money grab.

Albert Zarb: What's the big deal? It's free for volunteers.

Ray Hiscox: No we don't have enough fire fighters now. They're not working with kids. Who was the idiot that thought this up when their house is on fire I hope there is not enough fìre fighters to put it out.

Advocate for Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland in CQ Robert Lang says several members are considering quitting over the Blue Card requirement..
Advocate for Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland in CQ Robert Lang says several members are considering quitting over the Blue Card requirement..

Dave Sorenson: Seriously if a form and 20 minutes is going to stop anybody from making a contribution to their community you have to question their level of commitment. Am I missing something here? Why is this an issue?

John Hammond: For some a blue card just means they haven't been caught yet. Why do you need one to save people's lives and homes? Ridiculous bureaucracy.

Julie Hurst: The firies often speak with kids about the dangers of fires and they attend Xmas parties and other functions where kids are encouraged to trust firemen. It's easy, it's free, so yes, I wonder why there's such an issue is there's not a problem.

Rhett Stubbs: It smells like the bearucracy and public sector feeding itself with some more work to justify the additional people hired.

Ana Knight: Makes you wonder why they don't want it. If you don't have anything to hide why make it a big deal. Blue cards means a police check which means if you don't have anything to hide then why say no. It's about time government is looking after the little ones.

Step Holden: Just about as useless as drum lines, there's never any absolute guarantee they are going to protect anybody.

RFS volunteers are on the front line battling bushfires around the country.
RFS volunteers are on the front line battling bushfires around the country.

Byron Taylor: I think it's good that they've introduced this, it means that we can now safely work with families of kids who attend open days, Christmas parades etc. Don't like it, don't get one then. If you truly love doing what you do as a firefighter then this system shouldn't deter you from doing it. Safer communities for our kids growing up and teaching the next generation what it's about, can't take that away from the kids now days. One would only hope that we can eventually teach our next generation about fires and dangers etc.

John Sealy: What's the problem? If you have nothing to hide just go get it.

Bec Toby: Predators put themselves in trusted positions where they can get close to kids and rural firies do more than just fight fires.

Matthew Schirmer: The point of the matter is why do they need it when they are saving your home?

Jordan Clark: It doesn't cost the volunteer anything, all they have to do is fill out a few pages of forms and send it off, and QFES files it for them. It's 10 minutes of work at a stretch, to enable QFES to make Blue Card Services happy. At the end of the day, it's entirely in Blue Card Services hands. They've said that if people don't have a blue card, including volunteers, they can't continue to be part of QFES. Firies saying they're gonna quit, and all this public uproar, is unfortunately falling on deaf ears. The only people that have a say in this, have nothing to do with QFES. QFES will always have some form of duties which require them to come in contact with children. School fairs, visits, emergency services day, Christmas parades. The list is endless. It's a change that can't be controlled, and if people aren't willing to fill out a few pages, then it's something they chose to do. The Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner have sent numerous emails about this matter, and it always comes down to one thing: QFES can't control it, but they embrace the change, as it's there for a good reason.

John Sealy: It's awesome. I'm surprised that it has only just been brought in.

Jenny Bowles: I don't see the point.

CARD SUPPORT: Assistant Commissioner at Queensland Fire and Emergency Services John Bolger is urging all members of QFES to apply for their Blue Cards before the deadline in late March 2020.
CARD SUPPORT: Assistant Commissioner at Queensland Fire and Emergency Services John Bolger is urging all members of QFES to apply for their Blue Cards before the deadline in late March 2020.

QFES Assistant-Commissioner John Bolger: Thanks for the reminder....Hey Team. I have my Blue Card As you know it's now a requirement for all QFES Operational Crew both staff and volunteers to hold a Blue Card before March 30, 2020. Get on board now as the cut off date is closing soon. Cheers JB.



Where are you getting your gifts this year?

premium_icon Where are you getting your gifts this year?

Katelyn, 18, and Samantha Ninness, 23, were getting some of their Christmas...

Federal MPs supportive of firey campaign

premium_icon Federal MPs supportive of firey campaign

The Morning Bulletin’s ‘Fair go for our fireys’ campaign is gaining traction at the...

Christmas gift trends emerge as Rocky shoppers spend big

premium_icon Christmas gift trends emerge as Rocky shoppers spend big

Rockhampton Christmas sales are busier than ever this year, despite economists...