DESPITE the wet weather the Rural Fire Service (RFS) is appealing for more helpers in what has been the state’s worst bushfire season in a decade.
Rural Fire Service spokesman Brendan Doyle said people can lend a hand with whatever skills they have – be it in communications, catering, aviation support or vehicle maintenance.
“If you don’t want to be at the end of the hose there’s plenty of support that can be given in other areas,” Mr Doyle said.
“It’s almost like the military – with each firefighter there’s often five people behind the scenes helping where they can.”
Tamworth district RFS support brigade inspector Steve Prior said there has been a “steady trickle” of new members in the region, however there’s always plenty of room for more helping hands, no matter what the age.
“New members are always good and what we really need is people forming the large support network that is needed,” Mr Prior said.
“A lot of people don’t realise it’s not just firefighters – it varies from district to district and there’s a very valuable pool of people with life skills but they don’t know these opportunities are there.
“We need people who want to do catering and small vehicle maintenance, as well as people as part of a transport group to bring tankers in for servicing.”
Mr Prior is happy with the recent rainfall which he said has helped ease the hotspots in the Coonabarabran area.
“Coonabarabran’s looking great,” he said. “They got good, substantial rain and only a few trees and logs are still smoking – I wouldn’t even go so far as to call them hot spots. It has given the local brigade a welcome break after many weeks of hard effort.
“We have no doubt the rain will green things up but our bushfire season isn’t over yet.”
Mr Prior suggested those interested in joining the RFS should contact the local fire control centre where they will be happy to talk about the opportunities available or for more information visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au