BULLSBROOK resident Ray Warren has dedicated more than half of his life to volunteering and helping save lives.
The 48-year-old became a volunteer for the East Swan Volunteer Bushfire Brigade in 1989 and an inaugural member of the Swan Communication Brigade when it began in 1994, helping to fight fires as a radio operator.
Mr Warren was born with spina bifida, which meant he had to use a wheelchair from a young age. He said his desire to be a firefighter came about as a young child.
“My uncle was a firefighter and as a young kid I spent a lot of time at Princess Margaret Hospital,” he said.
“My mum would always take me to the Perth Fire Station after hospital to see my uncle.”
It wasn’t until Mr Warren’s sister got a job at the City of Swan that his dream of becoming a firefighter came true after a meeting with ranger services.
“Being part of a team and being able to give back to the community is a great feeling. Emergency management has always interested me and it’s something I never thought I’d be able to do,” he said.
He said volunteering had been a great experience.
“You work in a team with people from a whole range of backgrounds and learn skills in life and for the role,” he said.
Mr Warren encouraged people from all walks of life to get involved with volunteering.
“There’s always a role that someone can do, no matter what your abilities may be,” he said.