More than 40,000 volunteers in QLD deserve our thanks

MORE than 40,000 Queensland emergency volunteers have dedicated more than 760,000 hours of their own time, to protect the lives and property of Queenslanders from Cooktown to Coolangatta.

Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey said National Volunteer Week (May 12-18) was the perfect time to recognise the efforts of our community heroes.

"Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) brigades, State Emergency Service volunteers, and other emergency volunteers give their time and services to protect the lives and property of Queenslanders," Mr Dempsey said.

"These volunteers are the unsung heroes of Queensland, who work every day not for reward but for the communities they love, so it is time to say thank you.

"Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and the Queensland Police Service have a proud history of fostering the development of volunteers and that commitment will last well into the future."

More than 6,000 SES volunteers dedicated almost 450,000 hours helping the community, including nearly 76,000 hours in storm damage response, more than 14,000 hours in search operations and in excess of 5,000 hours in flood boat operations.

Assistant Minister for Emergency Volunteers Ted Malone said there were more than 35,000 RFSQ volunteers who committed in excess of 300,000 hours to hazard reduction burns and emergency incidents last year.

"I want to acknowledge and thank all of those individuals who are committed to the safety of Queenslanders," Mr Malone said.

"National Volunteers Week doesn't only represent an opportunity for people to say thank you, but also for Queenslanders to put their hand up and volunteer."

QFES Commissioner Lee Johnson said the work of volunteers was contributing toward better outcomes for QFES.

"During a major incident or natural disaster, these men and women volunteer their own time, away from family and friends, to support their communities," Mr Johnson said.

"It's these everyday people who do extraordinary things, who dedicate themselves to frontline services, fight fires, respond to road traffic crashes, search for the missing or lost and help the community after a severe weather event.

"This week, I encourage everyone to celebrate the power of volunteering in their own community and say thank you to Queensland's hardworking volunteers."

For more information, visit www.ses.qld.gov.au, www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/Volunteering or www.volunteeringqld.org.au



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