! During the HIGH THREAT PERIOD (November to April) Western Australia can experience bushfires, tropical cyclones and flooding. During this time most volunteer brigades, groups and units will be preparing their teams for response rather than recruiting new volunteers and training. Please be mindful of this, look out for specific recruitment messages put out by brigades, groups or units in your area or consider volunteering towards the end of this period.
Emergency Services Volunteering
Emergency services volunteers are a vital component of a resilient and safe community. A volunteer gives up his or her time to save the lives of others, reduce the loss of property and environmental damage and support local community disaster and emergency awareness and preparation activities. Being a volunteer is also incredibly rewarding and provides a sense of well-being and belonging, personal improvement and achievement and the opportunity to give something back to your local community.
Those that volunteer know that the safety and wellbeing of a local community is everyone’s responsibility. All community members are eligible to inquire about joining a local volunteer emergency service as there are a wide variety of roles and activities involved in operating an emergency services volunteer team. If you aren’t an emergency services volunteer you can help by supporting them and encouraging your local community to support their work. This includes preparing your own home and family for emergencies and disasters. DFES Safety Information.
More information about emergency services volunteering can be accessed via the links on this page.
How do I join an emergency services brigade, group or unit?
- It is recommended that you read through the information provided about volunteering first (especially if you live in the Perth metropolitan area). Click here for volunteering FAQs
- Decide which volunteer service best suits you
- Locate the local brigade, group or unit that is nearest you by clicking on the specific service
- Contact the brigade group or unit directly via email or phone
- Please note that many of the telephone numbers are located at volunteer sites which are not occupied every day. Leave a message and allow at least a few days or more before expecting a response especially if it is during the high threat period from November to May.
Volunteering during an Incident
Often when a natural disaster takes place many people in the community offer their assistance.
While all offers of help are most appreciated, it is unlikely that members of the public will be able to offer immediate assistance directly to the emergency services. This is because:/p>
- All emergency services volunteers must first undergo an approved induction and probationary period that includes minimum competency training which can take at least three months. This is to ensure all volunteers, when called to attend an emergency, are capable and stay safe.
- Food and shelter for all emergency responders is provided and catered for by the agencies responding. For safety reasons community members will not be able to enter a disaster affected area to deliver any packages and it is not recommended this be attempted.
In relation to supporting the community:
- During major emergencies the Department for Child Protection and Family Support will manage an evacuation centre for community members impacted by the disaster – providing ongoing information about the disaster, shelter, medical needs, food, clothing, financial assistance and capacity to register and inform other family members of their safety, and
- The affected Local Government will also address needs to support pets, stock and wildlife.
- There may be calls for the community to assist in other ways, depending on the nature of the incident. Keep an eye out in the media or contact Volunteering WA at www.volunteeringwa.org.au for any opportunities.
If you would like to know more about emergency services volunteering as an ongoing activity, please read the “Frequently Asked Questions” below.
Volunteering after an Incident
If you would like to offer assistance to communities affected by the disaster this can be done via the Local Government or Shire, nominated financial institutions, or by registering with Volunteering WA, the Red Cross, Rotary or Lions Clubs.
Quite often there is plenty to do during the ‘recovery’ phase after a disaster and some communities welcome help. Please ensure that you register your help before attending, to ensure the area is safe and that the community is ready to engage support.
Every year thousands of people consider volunteering with an emergency service. Emergency service brigades and units are unique in that they are made up of individuals, retired people, families, full time, part time and shift workers, the unemployed and many others.
Our Volunteer Services
DFES coordinates the following key volunteer services:
Information for Employers
DFES highly values the support that employers give to their employees who volunteer with the emergency services. The support of employers and self employed volunteers is invaluable and without it some individuals would not be in a position to volunteer. Click here for further information.
To recognise the support that employers give to the WA community, DFES has developed a quality assured accredited Volunteer Employer Recognition program. Click here for further information.
Click here to send an online enquiry.
Volunteer Information Line (free call): 1800 628 141