Have you got your copy of the Winter 2018, VFFA magazine?
If not, then you need to sign up as a volunteer or supporter (it’s FREE) and get two glossy copies of the volunteer fire fighter each year delivered to your mailbox. New members get a copy mailed out (whilst stocks last).
Alternatively, you may prefer to download a copy or make use of our online reading options. Visit our magazines page for this edition or to browse through earlier publications.
We are all very excited about the latest edition of the VFFA magazine.
Bruie Plains Brigade, located 26 Kilometres from Trundle (in the Central West) has plenty to sing about…
The Brigade are now the proud owners of two Engel Fridges thanks to Deputy Captain Andrew Rawesthorne and the VFFA.
In an earlier edition of the volunteer fire fighter magazine, we ran a Photo Competition with a prize of $1000 for whatever equipment a brigade needed. The winning photo was submitted by Deputy Captain Andrew Rawesthorne of Bruie Plains Brigade. After consideration, the brigade decided two fridges would be great for their tankers so they no longer had to drink hot water in the field.
What about ABBA?
If you have a free VFFA magazine subscription then you should already have received your copy of the winter edition by now.
You have a few options:
- Sign up for a free VFFA membership.
- Full membership is open to all NSW RFS Volunteers (it’s free to join)
- Magazine subscriptions are available for supporters and sponsors upon an request (subject to approval)
- Click the magazine image below to read the online version.
The VFFA Membership Application Form can be used for:
- New membership application
- Magazine subscriptions
- Renewal and updating existing memberships (no stored data is shown online)
Click on our Memberships & Subscriptions link to get started.
This article is republished as a tribute to Laurie Norton who passed away on Wednesday 18th March 2015. Laurie created the article for the April 2009 edition of the VFFA Magazine.
Laurie was a foundation member of the VFFA and our first treasurer. When Laurie spoke everybody listened. He was a man of great knowledge and conviction. He will be sadly missed.
“If only these people could work with nature – not against it… It is no longer an open pristine alpine area, but a mutilated jungle”
Now one knows the true identity of The Phantom, he sends us some words of wisdom for publication in The Volunteer Firefighter.
This post includes a letter to The Phantom and his original article.
The VFFA is inviting its members from across the state to send in that extra special image you’ve captured. If you’re an amateur or just a beginner photographer, get your camera ready to support your brigade with this great prize.
We’re looking for that extra special photo for the front cover of our Winter edition of the VFFA Magazine 2015.
Due out in June 2015, we’re looking for something special to take the major position on our front page. It could be something from this coming fire season such as a brilliant fire related image, it could be a photo of the RFS’s oldest or the worst or let’s just say; the most Rustic RFS Fire Station in NSW.
Here’s your opportunity to use that brilliant photographic image you caught by chance and get your brigade something it’s in need of. Your brigade might need some extra Hose, a new Branch, a hand held UHF Radio or a Fireground Radio.
You can use the $1,000 to spend on anything your brigade may need from any authorised supplier to the NSW RFS. The VFFA will pay the invoice direct to the supplier and delivery will be included to anywhere in NSW.
Closing date is Saturday 28th February 2015 and all entries should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure you note “PHOTO COMPETITION ENTRY” along with your name, brigade and contact phone number/s. A confirmation email receipt will be sent to confirm your entry.
The winning entry will be announced 15th March 2015 and the winner will be contacted by phone.
- All entries MUST be from registered VFFA member, there will be NO exceptions.
- Closing date for entries is Saturday February 28th 2015.
- The photo must always be available for the VFFA (Volunteer Firefighters Association) to use at its discretion in any of its media forums such as Magazine, Website, Newsletters etc.
- The prize will be $1000.00 maximum value to be expended on any brigade fire related equipment supplied by any authorised RFS Supplier and the VFFA will pay the invoice, which must be made out to the VFFA.
- The prize is NOT redeemable for any other purpose.
- Delivery of any equipment bought with the prize money will be delivered to the winning brigade anywhere in NSW.
- The winning image will be decided by a panel of three Judges, those Judges chosen by the VFFA President and the Judge’s decision will be final.
The VFFA Official Magazine has been sent out and should have arrived in your mailbox already.
This edition is 2014 Vol 6 No 2, also known as the Summer 2014 edition.
Did you get a copy?
We have been sorting through our mailing lists in an effort to streamline our publishing and distribution.
If you did not get a copy (and you used to get one before) can we request that you complete our membership form as a method of updating your records.
If you are not a member and you would like to join (it’s free) then you can do the same.
Memberships are restricted to NSW RFS Members.
If you are not a member but you feel that you have a legitimate reason to go on our mailing list then you could send us an email using the form below. We will review your reasons before approval.
I got more copies than I need.
Please provide the details using the form below. Our Membership Officer will check the database and make the necessary updates.
We also publish online versions of our magazines using the issuu magazine sharing service.
Click HERE or the image (above) to view our online versions.
Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment and Retention
The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS) currently boasts a volunteer membership of 70,000 members made up of active fire fighters, communication and catering personnel and other support roles.
There has been much debate recently within political circles and the media as to the exact numbers of active fire fighters available to attend fires within NSW with figures quoted, ranging from 28,000 to 45,000 active fire fighters. Whilst the exact figure is unknown, it is a fact that presently less than 30,000 members are registered as being trained in basic bushfire training, which is a prerequisite for being an active fire fighter in the NSWRFS.
Nonetheless, the VFFA contends that a significant portion of active fire fighters are of the baby boomer generation who will reach retirement age over the next 10 years. This situation coupled with an aging population, shifting demographics with many young people leaving rural areas and moving to the city pursing further education and employment may potentially diminish the number of active fire fighters in the NSWRFS available to fight fires.
The VFFA therefore supports the introduction of a range of “incentives” to encourage young people to join the NSWRFS as active fire fighters well as retain as long as practible, experienced fire fighters to lead and mentor the next generation of active fire fighters.
The VFFA is an advocate of incentives that could attract and retain volunteer firefighters and support them in the performance of their duties. However this does not extend to direct financial compensation which could be deemed a form of payment for services, or any other matter which conflicts with the ethos of volunteerism in Australia today.
Incentives that could be considered to recruit and retain active fire fighters could include:-
- Tax relief for PAYE and self employed volunteers of the NSWRFS;
- Reimbursement for out of pocket expenses associated with the maintenance of existing fire fighting equipment and the purchase of new fire fighting equipment;
- Reimbursement for costs incurred while travelling to and from meetings, training and incidents;
- Reimbursement of telephone costs associated with firefighting;
- Rebate on drivers licence fees, etag fees, private health insurance fees, TAFE and university fees, council rates, electricity and water bills, public transport costs, car and home insurance policies.
- The establishment by the Commonwealth government of a volunteer support fund to assist volunteer fire fighters who may suffer financial hardship as a result of being away from their normal employment fighting a bushfire during a protracted bushfire emergency that exceeds 7 days. For example, a self employed volunteer fire fighter and other firefighters whose employer is unable or unwilling to support their absence from work.
That the commonwealth government consider the introduction of a range of incentives to attract young people to join the NSWRFS as well as retain the services of experienced active fire fighters to lead and mentor the next generation of active fire fighters. Such incentives could include tax relief, reimbursement of expenses incurred while participating in fire services activities and the establishment of a volunteer support fund to assist volunteer fire fighters who may suffer financial hardship as a result of being away from their normal employment fighting a bushfire during a protracted bushfire emergency that exceeds 7 days. For example, self employed volunteers.
Author: Michael Scholz
VFFA Executive Council Member
RFS volunteer 34 years service