THE work of firefighters will be recognised on a national day dedicated to celebrating and thanking all firefighters across the country, with a local Claremont brigade committed to helping the fight.
Thank You Fireys Day is held on 28 February by Thank You Fireys, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness to the work firefighters do.
Thank You Fireys Tasmanian representative Kate Wilkinson said funds would be raised in each state and would go directly back to the brigades in the states.
“Australian firefighters – volunteer and permanent – are some of the hardest working, dedicated people you will find anywhere in the world,” she said.
“They have to deal with fires and fire behaviour through many different avenues and terrains in some of the most trying environments found in the world.
“Having one day a year to celebrate and give thanks for all they do is just a small token of appreciation.”
Volunteer firefighters play a significant role in communities, numbering more than 5000 across 200 stations in Tasmania.
Claremont Fire Brigade is one station that is helping respond to fires and other emergencies this summer.
The station has 20 volunteers and responds to incidents in Claremont and surrounding areas.
“Volunteers in Claremont know the area, so you’re not getting people from the outside coming in and not knowing the community,” Claremont Fire Brigade second officer Todd Bennetto said.
“The make up of our area includes lot of nursing homes, schools and factories, plus we have a very big response to the back hills of Mount Faulkner which holds some very vital infrastructure to Hobart, so a strong brigade in this area to protect the community is vital.”
Mr Bennetto said the work of volunteer firefighters was important because it helped free up career firefighters to respond to major incidents.
“We back up the career stations at Glenorchy and Bridgewater,” he said.
“This allows them to concentrate on the bigger fires where they’re most needed and we can look after the smaller bits and pieces that happen in the area – it saves tying up resources.
“People should volunteer because you get a heap of satisfaction out of it, you’re helping the community, you meet a lot of new people, you get a lot of new good skills and it’s just very enjoyable.”
Brigades can apply for grants through the Thank You Firey’s website at www.thankyoufireys.org.
Caption: Claremont Fire Brigade volunteer firefighters, from left, Sean Riseley, Todd Bennetto and Oliver Haigh.