Call of duty

Volunteers Lawrie Graham, Peter Cole and Josie Prior. The Wanneroo Fire Support Brigade is looking for more volunteers Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d422854
Volunteers Lawrie Graham, Peter Cole and Josie Prior. The Wanneroo Fire Support Brigade is looking for more volunteers Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d422854

Wanneroo chief bushfire control officer Phil Hay said the regional support brigade worked with the Wanneroo, Quinns and Two Rocks emergency service brigades.

‘The support brigade provides the resources to assist with the management of large emergency incidents,’ he said.

‘They set up a central control point from which the incident management team can operate ” they provide communications, mapping and administration support.’

Mr Hay said the brigade also provided water resources for vehicles and helitacs at incidents where there was no water source.

He said it worked close to incidents but not on the fire-front, and could be called on to work with other emergency services or at incidents outside the City of Wanneroo.

‘Our volunteers can come from any age group from 16 years on ” they come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a range of skills and abilities,’ he said.

‘Ideally they are reasonably fit and willing to learn new skills and work in a team.’

Mr Hay said valuable traits of the brigade members included mechanical skills, a variety of driving licences, computer skills, administration and organisational skills, and experience in any emergency service.

He said they also valued teamwork experience, radio communication experience, scribing and volunteer time.

‘Few would have all these skills, but as a team we combine to cover all the skills needed to provide an efficient support team for an emergency incident,’ he said.

‘Training is provided in the skills needed, including basic firefighting for safety.

‘Those interested in gaining heavy vehicle licences, first aid or advanced radio skills are given the opportunity and support required.’

The brigade is based at the Quinns Rocks Bushfire Brigade’s station in Clarkson and received a $1.3 million incident control vehicle earlier this year. Its captain, Peter Cole, has been involved for about 20 years.

To volunteer, call 0427 026 006.