Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Jo-Ann Miller is encouraging Queenslanders to stop and say thanks to the thousands of hard-working volunteers that help keep us safe day in, day out.
This week is National Volunteer Week and Minister Miller said it was a great opportunity to shine the light on the dedicated emergency services and police volunteers that assist both on the frontline and behind-the-scenes right across Queensland.
“Everyone knows our SES ‘Orange Angels’ – we have some 5,900 of them across Queensland, but there are many in the community who don’t realise that our crews are actually made up of volunteers, not paid employees,” Minister Miller said.
“Their dedication to helping Queenslanders out in their time of need never ceases to amaze me – they give up their own time to help people out who have been hit hard by extreme weather, assist the police conduct searches and often help out at the scene of serious crashes.
“Our volunteers are provided with training, equipment and support so that they can respond to anyone at any time with confident and expertise.
“Just last month, 50 SES volunteers left their homes and families to assist the New South Wales flood recovery. Some had only managed a few days rest before they had to do it all over again here following Friday’s deluge.”
With the bushfire season approaching, Minister Miller said there were over 36,000 Rural Fire Service Queensland volunteers hard at work preparing their communities.
“Our rural firies give up countless hours of their own time each year conducting hazard reduction burns and fighting bushfires to protect lives and property."
“They also help out wherever they’re needed – sometimes quite far from home. I met crews from right across the state who descended on Central Queensland to assist in the clean-up following Cyclone Marcia.”
Minister Miller said there were also over 300 Volunteers in Policing (VIPs) helping out officers across the state.
“VIPs help free up police resources by assisting officers with non-frontline duties such as promoting crime prevention initiatives and answering simple, non-operational enquiries from members of the public.
“They also play an important role in supporting victims of crime. VIPs often attend with police to speak with and provide support to people who have gone through really difficult and traumatic experiences.”
Minister Miller said every day across the state, volunteers right across her portfolio were responding to emergencies and helping out Queenslanders.
“If you see an emergency services or police volunteer out and about this week – take a moment to stop and say thanks. It’s a small gesture, but it can mean a lot.
“The Palaszczuk Government deeply appreciates the commitment of all of our emergency services and police volunteers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”