By Derek Schlennstedt
The Mt Evelyn Fire Brigade is calling for new recruits to join – and the good news is you don’t have to have superhuman fitness to become a CFA volunteer.
First Lieutenant of Mt Evelyn, Luke Roy said the old perception that CFA volunteers had incredible fitness was a myth.
“There’s nothing that says you have to be able to drag 50 kilos, you don’t have to be able to drag 50 kilos to be part of a community fire brigade,” he said as the brigade went into a recruitment campaign for the next month.
Lieutenant Roy said there was a range of different roles available to fill which would suit people with varying interests, ages and skills.
“It’s more than just fighting fire – we also support other agencies such as the SES, ambulance, attend car accidents, and not every role will suit everybody.
“There are so many other functions volunteers can do, be it operating a pump, delivering water through a smaller hose or even supporting someone else on a larger hose,” he said.
But, as with many other brigades in the Yarra Ranges, there is the particular need to have volunteers available throughout the day.
“We’d love to see more daytime responders from Monday to Friday,” he said.
“If there’s an opportunity for people living and working in the area, maybe parents dropping off kids at school or anyone who has a few hours to spare during the week.
“They’re the people we’d love to have a conversation with.”
Lieutenant Roy acknowledges that CFA volunteers are asked to make a huge commitment, but says in terms of time and the roles they can take on, there is also great flexibility and recognition of the individual circumstances in terms of time, other responsibilities and personal suitability for particular roles.
“We ask our members to train on Monday nights but we understand that they can’t do every Monday night, work-life balance is really important and family is number one, work and volunteering comes after that.
Anyone interested in finding out more about life as an Mt Evelyn CFA Volunteer can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or are welcomed to drop in on a Sunday morning after 8.30am.
“If the door’s open, come in and say hi,” he said.