West Australians (WA) in rural and pastoral areas rely heavily on Bush Fire Brigades (BFB) for protection against the threat and devastation of fire.
Over 22,000 bush fire service volunteers protect WA from bushfires through fire prevention and risk management, fire suppression and fire safety education.
These volunteers operate through 579 BFB’s, which are administered by local governments, and trained and supported by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) in bushfire response and prevention.
BFB volunteer firefighters are trained to operate equipment, vehicles and appliances used in fire suppression operations.
BFB volunteers are trained in:
- Personal and team safety
- Fire suppression methods
- Vehicle driving on and off road
- First aid
- Leadership and emergency management procedures
Not all of the volunteer work involves active fire containment or rescue activities. DFES provides training for fire education programs that involve volunteers visiting schools, service groups, seniors' homes and local businesses to promote safety messages.
Some BFBs on Perth’s urban bushland fringe also operate as Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) brigades, taking additional responsibility for fires involving structures, chemical spills and assisting with road crash rescues.
There are many dimensions to being a BFB volunteer. DFES strongly supports the recruitment of both male and female volunteers representing a wide diversity of ages, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
If you would like more information about BFBs, please contact your local government, local brigade or the Volunteer Recruitment Information Line on 1800 628 141.