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Media Release

Time to celebrate our emergency services volunteers – National Volunteer Week 2016
Tuesday 10 May 2016 – 8:00 AM

National Volunteer Week is celebrating the rewarding side of volunteering this year, with the theme ‘Give Happy, Live Happy’.

Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding way to help others, according to Cockburn Volunteer Sea Search and Rescue volunteer Brad Nicholas.

"On every shift we get to help people who are unable to help themselves,” Mr Nicholas said.

"It’s extremely satisfying to be able to bring someone safely home to their family, when the outcome could easily have been very different.”

Mr Nicholas is among almost 30,000 Western Australian emergency services volunteers being celebrated as part of National Volunteer Week (9 to 15 May) and said volunteering had made an immeasurable impact on his life.

"Volunteering has become part of who I am and my family have become a major part of my volunteering as well,” Mr Nicholas said.

"I feel like I am making a real difference to people’s lives – all while learning new skills and making fantastic friends.”

Karen Roberts oversees the Department of Fire and Emergency Services Volunteer and Youth Services branch and said the week was a chance to celebrate emergency services volunteers for their dedication to creating safer communities.

"Each year, thousands of volunteers across WA give up their time to help the community in times of need,” Ms Roberts said.

"Volunteers respond to a vast range of emergencies including fires, cyclones, storms, road crashes and search and rescue operations.

"Even when not responding to incidents, they’re dedicating their time to sharpening their skills to ensure our communities are in safe hands when they need it most.”

The 2016 theme for National Volunteer Week "Give Happy, Live Happy”, emphasises that volunteering can help create a happier and healthier life.

"Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community,” Ms Roberts said.

"You don’t need to be on the front line to contribute – there are plenty of opportunities in areas such as administration, communications, logistics and educating the community.

"People of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to consider volunteering with their local brigade, group or unit.”

DFES coordinates volunteers from the Volunteer Fire and Emergency Service, Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, State Emergency Service and the Volunteer Marine Rescue Services, with support also provided to Local Government Bush Fire Brigades.

For more information about becoming a fire and emergency services volunteer, phone 1800 628 141 or visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au 


Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9225 5955


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