Emergency volunteering


Queenslanders are twice as likely to experience natural disasters compared with people in other states of Australia. But, are we prepared for these emergencies? In Queensland, emergency volunteers play an increasingly important role. As our climate changes and weather becomes more extreme, more emergency volunteers are needed to help during natural disasters.

At present, Australia has more than 500,000 emergency management and response volunteers, who are provide frontline response during floods, storms, cyclones and bushfires. These brave volunteers willingly take on considerable risk to protect our businesses, community buildings, homes, families, stock and pastures.Each year emergency volunteers save us millions of dollars in loss and damage to life and property.

Here are some ideas for organisations you could join as an emergency volunteer:

The State Emergency Service (SES) provides crucial support to communities. The SES is a volunteer-based organisation that is designed to empower people to help themselves and others in their community in times of emergency and disaster. Become an SES volunteer and you'll play a vital role in preparing households, responding to disasters, and rebuilding communities.

You can become part of the Rural Fire Service (RFS). Do you want to: save lives - learn new skills - make new friends - be part of a team? The purpose of rural fire brigades is to operate in areas not covered by Queensland Fire and the Rescue Service's urban (town) service. The RFS needs all types of people, with a wide range of skills, to keep brigades running and communities safe.  The RFS is spread across 93% of Queensland and has approximately 1500 rural fire brigades, made up of approximately 34 000 volunteers. Being part of the RFS offers fantastic opportunities for self-development.  Members of rural brigades receive training and skills that assist in all areas of life.  Brigade members learn teamwork, incident management, leadership skills, fire behaviour, communication skills, and much more.

Surf lifesavers patrol our beaches, while others provide first aid at sporting fixtures and major entertainment venues. Volunteers provide important advice and education at a local level to local councils, schools and community groups, to provide vital information so that people know what their responsibilities are before, during, and after natural disasters.

The Red Cross Emergency Services teams, both staff and volunteers, prepare, respond and provide relief to communities during everyday disasters. As Queenslanders rebuild their lives and businesses after the recent floods and cyclone, Red Cross is urgently calling for people to train as emergency services volunteers.

The Australian Emergency Management Volunteer Forum member organisations include Surf Life Saving Australia, Australian Council of State Emergency Services, Volunteering Australia and the Australian Red Cross.