Rural fire brigades are ready for action

HAPPY New Year to everyone! Another year has started and again we are seeing a different weather pattern evolve.

This time last year we saw devastating floods across the state, with many Rural Fire Service volunteers giving up their time and helping those impacted by the floods and helping their communities get back on their feet.

The Queensland Rural Fire Service plays many roles in the community. In this area we have a number of brigades that are able to respond to bushfires, structural fires, cyclones, storm damage and numerous other natural disasters. Some are able to specialise more in certain activities given their location. The Rural Fire Service is truly a multi-purpose agency with many multi-skilled volunteers from all walks of life working together to make our community a safer place.

The weather bureau tells us to be prepared for possible cyclonic activity, storm surges, flash flooding, etc, in the coming months. We have already seen a couple of cyclones in the northern parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Be assured the local brigades are also ready to respond when duty calls, no matter what.

Many of the Rural Fire Service volunteers have already received Swift Water Rescue awareness training along with other members of the Qld Fire and Rescue Service. This has been gazetted a priority by the Fire Service Commissioner, so personnel are trained and aware of their responsibilities when faced with swift water, flooded roads and creeks and tidal inundation related incidents.

Despite us being officially in the wet season, a high fire danger warning has been issued by authorities, indicating that over the next week or so we will see high temperatures, strong winds and dry conditions.

You just have to look around and see the dry grass and feel the strong winds about the place to see that our fire season is not over yet. A number of grass fires have been reported and attended to by local brigades.

It should also be noted that fire permits are still mandatory and can be obtained free of charge from your local fire station or fire warden. If you need advice on what you can or can't do, ask your local brigade, fire warden or visit the website www.ruralfire.

If you want to be involved in your local rural fire brigade's activities, why not consider joining them. There are many skills you can learn, or if you have skills and knowledge that you want to share with others, then feel free to inquire how you can be join in.

In the coming weeks you will see recruitment advertisements in the local media, but if you can't wait or are curious, then visit or feel free to contact me. I am more than happy to point you in the right direction.

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