Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Tribute - to our Bush Fire Fighters.

The bushfire tragedy in Victoria (and there are bushfires in NSW, and bad flooding in Queensland too, let's not forget) makes this a good time to reflect on ou Emergency Service volunteers.

In Victoria, its the CFA - the Country Fire Authority.
Here in NSW, we have our equivalent, the Rural Fire Service - the RFS (the world's largest fire service - which probably says all about how much they are needed). Another group is the SES - State Emergency Service, who do more varied work such as storm damage, floods, and other disasters. Most of these guys (and gals) are volunteers, they help their community for free, giving up their evenings for training and equipment maintenance, and their time when it's needed for actual disaster relief.

I was in a bushfire brigade when we lived in an outlying village, but not currently.

Times like Victoria is having now puts the affection the community feels for these volunteers into perspective. For example, at our local Australia Day festivities, the local RFS brigades and SES participate in the parade, get a warm round of appreciative applause, as it's a simple and heartfelt way to say Thanks.

Here are some piccies from Oz Day - 26 Jan;

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Blogger Peter (Worldman): said...

In France, the firemen (called "Sapeur Pompiers") are part of the army. They intervene not only for fires but for any kind of "Bad thing" like flooding, terrible car accidents, many more and of course fire.

In Switzerland, we have the professional fire brigades in the bigger cities and volunteer brigades in smaller localities. Though these are not professional ones, they are as efficient because they exercise on their free time (mainly on Saturdays).

Where I live, it is compulsory to take part in the fire fighting. So, I have to participate too. But as I am an "old" man, I am exempt from doing any activity. But I have to pay a "fire brigade dormant member tax" of 100 dollars. But this is voluntarely.

Which I do gladly. It is a very, very small way of paying tribute to men who, often, risk their lifes to help people. I just hope that I never need their help. But in case I need it, I know that I will be in the good hands of people who know what to do.

Sunday, February 15, 2009 5:09:00 pm  

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