Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan together with the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is seeking feedback on a new, long-term strategy to value, protect and develop its comprehensive volunteer network.
Minister Ryan says a discussion paper, released as part of the engagement process during development of the strategy, would provide QFES volunteers, staff and stakeholders with an opportunity to have their say and shape the blueprint for the future to 2025.
“QFES is one of the largest volunteering organizations in Queensland, with a volunteer workforce of more than 42,000 dedicated people across the state, who are ready to support their communities if and when they are needed the most.”
However, Mr Ryan says challenges to traditional models of volunteerism, such as an ageing population, time-poor society, digital distraction and competing priorities, meant providing an ongoing and sustainable emergency volunteer service was becoming increasingly difficult.
“This has highlighted the need to explore and invest in more flexible strategies to ensure we have the systems in place to attract, retain and support our volunteers both now and in the future.”
“The Volunteerism Strategy discussion paper is Queensland’s chance to have a conversation about how to implement a sustainable and robust volunteer model that meets the needs of communities into the future.”
QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll says volunteers were a key component in creating community resilience, and the new strategy aims to ensure the organization continued to rise to the challenge of keeping Queenslanders safe.
“Our dedicated volunteer workforce comprises 36,000 Rural Fire Service volunteers, 6,000 SES members, as well as research and scientific and technical rescue volunteers.”
“We need to ensure we are well positioned to meet the needs and the expectations of the community both now and into the future.”
“From recruitment and retention initiatives, to training and volunteering opportunities, the framework for our QFES Volunteerism Strategy will help shape our department and allow it to better-meet the challenges of the future and in turn, the needs of the community.”
The QFES Volunteerism Strategy discussion paper is available at www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/