Loddon Mallee Regional Manager Pat O'Brien hosted a dinner for Board members, the Chief Officer and CFA members representing a range of brigades from across the region. It was an opportunity for those members to pose forthright questions about immediate needs, channels for assistance and other matters of concern to them.
This week is National Volunteer Week. It is time to recognise the strength and benefit that we, as a society, receive from volunteering. Volunteers come in many forms. In our schools, hospitals, aged and special care facilities; in sports, working with the disadvantaged and those with special needs; and working to provide hope and a lifeline for those who are down on luck and circumstance. Emergency service volunteers in Australia hold a special place in our culture. The volunteering ethos is strong not only in CFA, but in our communities and our governments. Put simply, we could not enjoy the same standard of health, happiness and safety as we do if it were not for the efforts of our volunteers. Globally, the strong culture of fire and emergency service volunteering in Australia is regarded with respect and some jealously by governments and emergency managers in other countries. Our volunteering ethos is extremely valuable. It is something to be grown, developed and encouraged in future generations. On behalf of CFA, to all our front line people, we say: “Thank you! You do essential work. You create value by protecting lives and property. Your efforts are very much appreciated. Be proud of what you do. Keep up the great work!”