I Found A Way to help by joining the Rural Fire Service

The NSW Rural Fire Service is the world's largest fire service.Back in October, I was at home on the couch glued to the telly, watching the devastation that the recent bushfires had reaped on the West and Northern parts of NSW.  It was almost unbearable for me to watch, especially as I felt helpless as people were losing their homes, possessions and in some more extreme cases their lives. I knew that I wanted to make a difference and to help out others when things got tough.  So I joined my local Rural Fire Service (RFS).

Training with the officers in my brigade proved to be hard and tiring but it was incredibly rewarding. In the last couple of months, I’ve carried hoses up hills, down hills, into the bush and out of the bush. I think you get the picture!

But no matter how difficult and challenging the training has been, when I’ve wanted to hurl the hose down and give up, the images of the recent bush fire devastation and the encouraging words of a firefighter get me through the training.

While I may joke in the office about the physical exertion, hoses and the role play, RFS training has proven to be so much more. I’ve had to learn about gauges, water pressure, the different types of equipment we use for different situations and so much more. The firefighters who run this training regularly update their courses, volunteer their time to our brigade and spend every Saturday training us. I believe these people are the silent heroes of our community and I feel privileged to learn under them.

Next March I will be sitting my exam to become a full fledge firefighter for the RFS. It’s a sad fact that the fires we have just witnessed won’t be the last and come next bushfire season, you can bet I’ll be where I’m needed helping my brigade protect our people and our wildlife.

--CS

You can find out more about how IFAW is finding ways to help animals here.

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