IDENTITY cards for volunteer firefighters in the Perth Hills region are expected to be issued by December to help them gain access to fire grounds.
Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) human resources director Karen Roberts said priority had been given to high-risk bushfire areas.
“DFES has asked local governments for their approval to issue ID cards to their bush fire brigade members,” Ms Roberts said.
“The ID cards will in the future aid a smoother facilitation of volunteers through vehicle control points to the fire ground.”
“Bushfire brigade volunteers in the Perth Hills will receive their cards by December 2016 once DFES has approval from their local government.”
She said DFES was committed to supporting all emergency services volunteers to enable them to undertake life-saving work in their communities.
City of Gosnells chief executive officer Ian Cowie said the City was giving consent to DFES to issue the cards.
“They may be beneficial as they can help if road closures prevent volunteers from accessing their fire station,” Mr Cowie said.
The ID card will include the bushfire service logo, name of local council, volunteer’s photograph and membership number and expiry date.
The WA Association of Volunteer Bushfire Brigades welcomed the introduction of the ID cards in priority regions for the 2016-17 bushfire season.
“In phase one, DFES will be giving priority to issuing ID cards to registered volunteers in the high bush fire risk areas of the outer metropolitan areas, South West, Lower South West, Goldfields and Great Southern regions,” president Dave Gossage said.
“We are also informed that phase two of the ID card project, covering volunteers in the remaining regions as well as the longer term management of volunteer ID cards, will be subject to a more detailed assessment.
“We do not see a need for other regions to have their ID cards delayed while data management issues are resolved and will be advocating that the phase two roll out commence immediately after phase one is completed.”
DFES does not have legislative authority for the administration of Bush Fire Brigades and has to receive consent from local governments to issue their bush fire brigade members with an identity card.