How can I join?
What would I have to do if I join?
What is the work like?
How else can I contribute?
What other Training Opportunities are there?
What do I have to do to become a member of Stoney Creek?
There are lots of reasons why people think about joining a volunteer fire brigade
- Doing something for the community
- Being part of the the community
- Learning new skills
- Learning how to better prepare for a fire
- Challenging yourself
- Meeting people including some of your neighbours!
- Become more aware of your area
There are some important preliminary steps but they are not difficult:
- Contact the Captain or one of the Deputy Captains (see the Contacts
- Have an interview with a small panel of our members to assess your suitability
- If you are accepted, you will need to fill out an application form and undergo
a basic police check
- Once this is approved by Firecom (the Fire Control Centre in Queanbeyan)
you will need to do the standard Safety & Volunteer Induction courses (takes about 40
minutes all up)
- You will need to be voted as a Probationary member by the other Stoney Creek
members at a monthly meeting. Once this is done, you are able to join us for
our monthly training and weekly radio checks etc. Of course, you are not yet
ready to attend an actual incident yet
- You will then be nominated for the basic training course known as the Bush
Firefighter (BF) course which is conducted at Firecom. The number of BF courses
varies from year to year but is usually between 1 - 3
- Once the BF course is completed satisfactorily, you will then be ready to
start attending incidents
What would I have to do once I am a member?
- Be available to respond to incidents:
This is the whole point of joining a volunteer fire brigade. The organisation
only works because good people are prepared to give up some of their time
and energy to help others. The more you attend, the more you learn and the
more useful you can be. We are all volunteers so that also means we do what
we can and balance what we do with the Brigade with our work and home lives.
What this means is, if there is a call out and you can at all go, you should
go - if you really can't then you don't.
- Attend Training once a month:
Stoney Creek conducts a monthly, half-day training session on the first Sunday
of each month. This is designed to help us all stay current on all the techniques
and equipment. After all, we are volunteers and we do not use these every
day like the professional fire fighters so we all need regular reminding.
- Attend a Meeting once a month:
Obviously a Brigade cannot function without some behind the scenes organising
and work - it is not all fighting fires! Many of the necessary operational,
training and administrative matters are covered during a meeting once a month.
These meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at our fire shed
starting at 7:00. Sometimes the date is adjusted a little when it gets in
the way of other major events on the calendar. The meetings generally only
go for an hour and are usually preceded by an hour long training
session from 7pm.
- Help out with Radio Checks:
Stoney Creek is divided up into 3 or 4 "crews" for administrative
purposes and to help share the workload. One of these tasks is the weekly
radio check that Firecom carries out with all Brigades at 9am on Sunday mornings.
Each crew is rostered on for a month of Sunday radio checks. It only takes
about 1/2 an hour to start up each of the trucks and pumps and check the radios
are working so everything is ready to respond in a hurry when we are needed.
- Help out with other activities
Sometimes we really need help with other activities such as working bees around
the shed, fund raising or committee positions.
Is it hard? Won't I be too young/too old? I don't know
anything about fire fighting!
It is true that the work can be hard and dirty but you will only ever be expected
to do whatever you are able to manage.
The Rural Fire Service is made up of volunteers from all walks of life - men
and women from different cultural backgrounds, age groups and professions. Stoney
Creek Brigade is no different. We have a very wide age range including very
many older and retired people. You do need to be a minimum of 16 years old.
The training is comprehensive and you will be taught all you need to know before
you are allowed to get on the trucks to attend an incident.
for more information regarding volunteering.
I'd like to volunteer but I'm not able to or don't
want to attend fires/incidents. Are there other ways for me to contribute?
Absolutely! Even our active members are sometimes unable to take part in actual
incident responses and so there are other ways you can take part. Brigades often
have support members who are able to help tired crews returning from incidents
(there is always plenty to do: hanging up hoses for drying, rolling hoses, restocking
the trucks) or staffing the fire shed during busy times.
We are also always looking for people to help out on the management committees
and for fund raising activities.
Another option is to consider joining the zone Operational Support Group (OSG)
who primarily work out of the Lake George Fire Control Centre in Queanbeyan.
OSG help run the emergency communications centre and assist organising logistical
support during major incidents.
What other training opportunities are there?
At your initial Bushfire Fighter (BF) course, you will learn the major equipment
on the trucks and how to work safely on the fireground as part of a larger team.
If this is all you want to do, that's fine although obviously there are many
more training courses open to you if you wish (and once you have some experience
under your belt). Below are some of the additional courses available. These
are covered in more detail at the NSW
RFS website. It should also be noted that there may be some pre-requisites
for some of these courses (i.e. you have to do course A before course B):
- First Aid - formal first aid qualification
- Village Firefighter (VF) - learn how to tackle structural fires, gas fires
and motor vehicle accidents.
- Advanced Firefighter (AF) - provides more depth to your knowledge on fire
fighting such as pump operation, navigation...
- Chainsaw Operator
- Rural Fire Driver (RFD) - driving fire trucks (light and medium) off road
and under response conditions
- Crew Leader (CL) - learn how to lead and manage a crew (or crews) at an
- Remote Area Fire Fighting Teams (RAFT) - something for the fitter volunteers!
Our Zone has a RAFT team that is always looking for new volunteers to help
fight fires in remote, rough or isolated terrain. RAFT members work in small
teams and either hike in or can be winched in by helicopter
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