More than a hobby, it's a responsibility
Remote area fire stations are often hundreds of kilometres apart. As a Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service (NTFRS) volunteer, you may be called upon to assist our full-time firefighters or local police to fight fires or assist with road crash rescue.
In some communities NTFRS volunteers respond to all types of incidents, as the nearest career firefighters are quite often based hundred of kilometres away. With such vast distances it is imperative that community based volunteers have the facilities, equipment and the training to effectively undertake emergency response activities.
The NTFRS currently have approximately 280 volunteers within six Volunteer Fire Brigades and 10 Fire and Emergency Response Groups (FERG). FERG units are our combined NTFRS and NT Emergency Service volunteers in remote locations.
Our volunteers enjoy a range of challenging experiences including:
- Fighting bushfires
- Assisting in bushfire hazard reduction by early season burning off
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Community fire safety education opportunities
NTFRS volunteer members respond in the first instance to emergency calls within their district. They may also attend emergencies in other volunteer fire brigade areas should assistance be requested at major incidents.
- Why do we need NTFRS volunteers?
The NTFRS and the community hold volunteer firefighters in high esteem and appreciate their dedicated efforts. With limitations on the number of full-time and part-time NTFRS personnel available to deal with emergency incidents, our volunteers become an invaluable part of our organisation. In some smaller population centres, NTFRS volunteers provide the only response capability.
- What do NTFRS volunteers get for giving their time?
A feeling of accomplishment while working in a team and providing safety to people living in and and visiting communities. You will have an active social life and make good friends within the brigade and community and learn new skills that can enhance your employment prospects.
- Who can join?
Any person who is 16 years of age or over and is reasonably fit and healthy is eligible to join a NTFRS Volunteer Fire Brigade or Fire and Emergency Response Group.
- What do I need to join?
- Contact your local Volunteer Fire Brigade or FERG Captain; or
- Contact the NTFRS Operations Northern Command Volunteers
You will need to complete a registration form, as well as undertake a criminal history and information holdings check. If successful, you will then formally be appointed by the Executive Director NTFRS, and then gazetted as a voluntary member of the NTFRS.
- I’ve never done anything like this before – how will I know what to do?
Our NTFRS volunteers are ordinary people just like you – they’re fathers, mothers, wives, nephews; single or married. Volunteering with us can be a family affair or an individual lifestyle change.
Full training and protective clothing is provided to all volunteers. You will never be sent out to conduct a role without extensive FREE training. Many of these skills are nationally accredited and can be utilised in the normal workplace enhancing your career opportunities.
- What commitment is required?
NTFRS volunteers must attend regular training to ensure they maintain their skill levels and are able to undertake their roles safely. Training provided to NTFRS volunteers is based on nationally recognised competencies. NTFRS Volunteers who attend courses undergo theory and workplace based assessments to gain statements of attainment which may be transferred between organisations, States or Territories.
Training is skills-based, so qualifications may be gained on the job. All training costs are met by the NTFRS. Members should also have the support of their employers and family to enable them to be able to respond to emergencies with a minimum of disruption and disadvantage.
- What recognition do volunteers receive?
As well as training qualifications, NTFRS Volunteers who serve diligently for a period of time can be eligible for:
5 Year Certificate, 10 Year Fire and Rescue Service Medal with subsequent clasps 20, 30, 40 years National Medal