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Local firefighters recognised for hard work

THE work of firefighters will be recognised on a national day dedicated to celebrating and thanking all firefighters across the country, with a local Taroona brigade committed to helping the fight.

Thank You Fireys Day will be held on 28 February by Thank You Fireys, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the work firefighters do.

Thank You Fireys Tasmanian representative Kate Wilkinson said funds would be raised in each state and would go directly back to the brigades in the states.

“Australian firefighters – volunteer and permanent – are some of the hardest working, dedicated people you will find anywhere in the world,” she said.

“They have to deal with fires and fire behaviour through many different avenues and terrains in some of the most trying environments found in the world.

“Having one day a year to celebrate and give thanks for all they do is just a small token of appreciation.”

Volunteer firefighters play a significant role in communities, numbering more than 5000 across 200 stations in Tasmania.

Taroona Volunteer Fire Brigade is one station that is helping respond to fires and other emergencies this summer.

The station has about 20 volunteers and responds to incidents in Taroona and surrounding areas.

“The work we do is predominantly community support by assisting people with plans for conducting prescribed burns, doing assessments of their property for safety risks and sometimes we can help them carry out those burns subject to discretion,” Taroona Volunteer Fire Brigade second officer Tristan Roberts said.

“We also respond to fires both within and outside our own area, as well as have people away on interstate deployments.”

Mr Roberts said the work of volunteer firefighters was important because it helped free up career firefighters to respond to major incidents.

“All firefighters frequently put themselves in situations that are dangerous and potentially hazardous,” he said.

“When people sign up as a career firefighter or a volunteer, they understand there are risks involved.

“So it’s nice to have days like Thank You Fireys Day to recognise each other and to have the opportunity to speak to members of the community who might not know about the work that’s being done.

“People should volunteer because it’s a good way to put back into your community, meet new people and do a lot of training to develop new skills.”

Brigades can apply for grants through the Thank You Firey’s website at www.thankyoufireys.org.

Caption: Taroona Fire Brigade volunteers Tristan Roberts, left, and Alex Potter.

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