page owners are active Volunteer Firefighters.
is an extremely rewarding experience and being a firefighter is also
very exciting. It is hard work and often very dangerous. Unlike the
mining companies, we have to rely on our training to execute our tasks.
There is no time to sit down and do a Take 5 or JSA prior to fighting a
fire. Putting this into context, imagine it is your house burning, with
your family and pets inside. Do you want us to spend 5 minutes doing a
Take 5 and then sitting down for another 30 odd minutes to do a JSA. NO? That's
why we train, every week, over and over again.
hate the term "just" volunteers. We are more than that, we are THE fire
fighters for this state. There are only 1000 paid fire fighters, and
over 24,000 volunteers, who do you think is coming to your hills
property or farm? As volunteers we don't get paid and many of us lose
pay from a normal jobs, $15,000 one year for me.
don't often see the outcomes for the casualties we assist.
That is probably better sometimes.
did revisit Waroona 6 weeks after that fire, and I couldn't believe the
damage caused. Our area we fought in was small, and we did save
properties. I take my hat off to the bravery of people who remained to
protect their properties. On arrival at Waroona, we prepared to go to
Yarloop, but were then retasked to another area. This was the night
Yarloop was destroyed and 2 men died. There is a picture is on the internet
showing us waiting for transport back to Perth. It depicts very weary
fire fighters (awake for over 24 hours, and working all night), but it
doesn't show the pain caused by the loss of those two men. Could we
have made a difference to Yarloop? Maybe not, but we did make a
difference to the houses we saved. And there
are many other fire fighters just like us.
can see a very small section of the Waroona Fire in these clips.
It makes me feel very proud and honoured to see the signs that say "Thanks to the
firies", but there are so many other volunteers who assist in many
ways, from those that cook our food, to the SJA volunteers
who are waiting to help if we are injured. I feel privileged when a local
shakes my hand and says"Thanks for saving our town".
Every time you hear that fire siren, think of those in distress and
know we are on the way to help, so please move over and slow down to
let us through, stop on the green light if you can so we can cross the
intersection, someone needs us really quick.
You may hear us joke around, and we will certainly swear. I think in
Australia that's how we release our tensions. In one of the Waroona
videos you will hear some chiacking as we approach, but once the fire
is reached the truck goes quiet, and we all begin to feel very small,
and but we have comfort knowing the others in the vehicle are
part of the team and we will support each other, always.