Thanks Volunteers.

I just want to say thank you to our volunteers.

2013 Boho fires 2
Violet Town Football Ground during the 2013 Boho bushfire.

10 years ago Victoria, and Australia, suffered through one of the most deadly and devastating bushfire emergencies the state, and country, has ever encountered, Black Saturday. A fire so devastating it took the lives of over 170 members of our communities and injured hundreds more, also lets not forget all the homes, businesses and stock that were also lost.

The one shining light that came out of all this devastation was the willingness of our emergency service to all but run into the inferno to try their hardest to stop it spreading further, to save a life, animals, houses, etc. all done without discrimination. Thanks volunteers.

2013 Boho fires 4
A volunteer putting out a flare up.

10 years on we are currently experiencing more major bushfires, here in Victoria, South East of Melbourne, Gippsland and the Victorian High Country. As I write this, luckily there has been no reported injuries or loss of life due to this devastation.

So many of our emergency services around this great country of ours are made up of a group of special people, they are Volunteers. Before I go on, I just want to state that I myself am a volunteer firefighter with my local C.F.A. (Country Fire Authority) Brigade. I am not asking for praise for myself, I just want to thank everyone who volunteers for our emergency services, for all the time that they give to help save, protect and secure their local communities.

I’m not going to lie, there is a certain adrenaline rush that goes through your body when the pager goes off requesting your assistance, but that’s not the reason I volunteer, it’s not even close to it. There are 2 reasons why, and I’m sure just about any other volunteer will have a similar answer, the real reasons why?…….1. I want to help others who need the help, and 2. I may need that help one day, so what better way to say thank you for the help, than to give back, well before I may ever need that help.

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Burnt ground for as far as the eye can see.

Movie buffs, correct me if I’m wrong, there is a line from the movie Saving Private Ryan that says “There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.” That line is in response to an army officer finding out that the Private in question volunteered his time during a period of conscription. I believe this line and the meaning behind it is unwavering in its’ truth.

An emergency services volunteer will stop whatever it is they are doing, whether it is rain, hail or shine, whether it is 2am or 2pm, whether it is 4 degrees C or 40 degrees C, they always respond. They will fight a fire all night and still turn up for their day job only hours later. They walk away from their days wages to help a fellow community member out. They will even walk off the sports field leaving their team undermanned to help out at an emergency. A volunteer will even leave the safety of his/her family to save a complete stranger, and for all that I say THANKS VOLUNTEERS.

2013 Boho fires 3
Thanks Volunteers for taking time out of your day to help out.

During these times of uncertainty we can always rely on our brigade of loyal volunteers to do their best to keep us all safe. I wish all of our emergency service members, both paid and volunteer, all the best and I hope you all remain safe whilst you do your best to protect the rest. Thank you all. THANKS VOLUNTEERS.

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