Volunteering aids skills set

Augusta Margaret River Times
Natalie Iredale is the youngest member of the Margaret River St John Ambulance service.
Camera IconNatalie Iredale is the youngest member of the Margaret River St John Ambulance service. Credit: Warren Hately

WA’s Emergency Services Minister has put out the call for a new wave of volunteers to support crucial support organisations.

Fran Logan MLA issued the challenge as part of a new Get Behind The Frontline advertising campaign which started this week.

The campaign focused on Department of Fire and Emergency Services in particular, but comes as services across the Capes say they need fresh recruits to prop up the region’s ageing volunteer base.

“Volunteers are a critical part of the State’s emergency response, comprising up to 99 per cent of all personnel in some regional areas,” Mr Logan said.

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“Get Behind the Frontline seeks to educate the community about behind-the-scenes emergency services roles, attract new recruits from diverse backgrounds, and drive traffic to the online volunteer recruitment page.” The Times previously reported St John Ambulance services in Augusta and Margaret River were among those looking for new members.

Nineteen-year-old St John volunteer Natalie Iredale said she was among the region’s youngest recruits and gained a lot from her time supporting residents in emergencies.

“I began volunteering for St John when I finished school,” she said.

“Doing so has given me a diverse skill set which I feel is invaluable preparation for what I hope to be future studies in a similar area.

“Being a part of a team gives you a sense of purpose, and your contribution is reciprocated in many social and life skills.”

Ms Iredale said younger volunteers across all emergency services could offer fresh perspectives and energy, and helping people in distress was very rewarding.

Mr Logan said emergency services needed a wide range of personnel for background roles that did not mean volunteers had to undertake frontline services.

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