QLD | 15 May 2012
Minister for Police and Community Safety Jack Dempsey said this National Volunteer Week (14 – 20 May) Queenslanders were encouraged to say ‘thanks’ to the volunteers who were essential to Queensland’s front line emergency and corrective services.
“Whether they administer first aid, tarp roofs or battle bushfires, Department of Community Safety (DCS) volunteers are a unique mix of individuals who don’t just give up their time for a cause but are committed to dropping everything at a moment’s notice to help their fellow Queenslanders,” Mr Dempsey said.
“National Volunteer Week is the largest celebration of volunteers in the nation and a prime opportunity to pay tribute to the 45,000 volunteers across DCS.”
The Rural Fire Service is the largest volunteer-based organisation in the Department, with more than 34,000 operational and non-operational volunteers across 1,450 brigades who provide fire management to 93 per cent of the State.
“The State Emergency Service has more than 7,300 active volunteers who, in recent times, have assisted those affected by flooding and severe weather in Townsville, Miles, Roma, Charleville, St George and on the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Dempsey said.
“In devastated communities, where some families have lost everything, they have provided assistance to people in the most trying of times.”
Mr Dempsey said the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) benefits from the 350 first responders and honorary ambulance officers situated in remote communities who assisted in providing pre-hospital care to the sick and injured before paramedics arrived on scene.
“The QAS also receives strong support from 1,419 volunteers who work across 158 Local Ambulance Committees and form a valuable link between the community and service, fundraising for the purchase of equipment and training resources,” he said.
“In addition, the Emergency Management Queensland Emergency Services Cadet Program is led by a taskforce of around 300 volunteers across the State, all working towards the goal of building the next generation of paramedics, firefighters and volunteers.”
Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) also benefits from the work of Chaplains, Counsellors and Elders, who enhance safety both within and outside correctional facilities.
“QCS volunteers also form the backbone of many valuable community service projects. They help plan projects through membership on local community advisory committees and supervise offenders working on those projects.”
Mr Dempsey said the Department also supported other volunteer organisations with around 37,000 volunteers involved in Surf Lifesaving, Coast Guard and Volunteer Marine Rescue across Queensland.
“There is no doubt we would be lost without our army of volunteers and I encourage everyone to get behind them this National Volunteer Week and celebrate their work and commitment to the people of Queensland,” he said.
To become a volunteer in the Department of Community Services please visit www.emergency.qld.gov.au/volunteers