it is amazing to me, there has been such fuss about Holden closing about the grants and money it ‘needed’ to stay here and how the Labor Government in South Australia who have been in power for many years are ready to continue arguing about this with the Federal Government yet the CFS which is a major VOLUNTEER organization is left to its own devices.
My husband and most of the crew he responds with are National Medal holders, are agriculturalists, volunteers, farmers and in general are very handy men to have a round. These people have skills many wished they had and use these to fight fires, keep each other safe, keep property and live stock safe and are relied on by the paid fire fighters and the Government to pick up the ‘slack’. This means that they are a necessity not a luxury and are called and deployed by the “emergency Service Centre” to go in and help control fires.
What ASTOUNDS me is that they do this, with all of their skills and fearlessness WITHOUT the resources they should have. They travel into fire zones, sandy areas where they need to let the tyres down on the fire units so they can travel safely into the areas. Yesterday as he was out in the Ngarkat fire it was discovered NO ONE on the truck has a CHAIN SAW accreditation certificate so no one is able to cut trees down to help them get through safely. This is totally unbelievable, the CFS has run out of money to run the course to get them all re accredited.. I bet many of you are shaking your heads this can not be possible, unfortunately it is the truth, it is a big penalty if they get caught (monetary of course) and as they had paid fire fighters there, they were unable to use a chain saw.
Now these are highly capable farmers, who would have better safety procedures around chain saws than many tree loppers. I am trying not to say it but I am… WTF. Do we have to fund raise to get these people adequately qualified to protect themselves, land, property and livestock? I wonder, why is the Premier & Opposition yelling about this and offering some of the subsidies given to the CFS so that everyone has the appropriate piece of paper that could help save lives? I don’t understand either.
Here is a picture of the fire he has been going in and out of for the last 2 days and it’s going to go on for another week at least. This is at the end of my road and blowing into the Victorian Border – we are safe, but it is still food for thought how we need to look after those that volunteer and look after us.