Your safety is the most important thing to us. Safety is everyone's responsibility and there are times that we face risky situations in our fire fighting responsibilities.
The TFS has established safety systems, excellent personal protective equipment and nationally accredited training programs designed to ensure its members work safely together. Our volunteers are expected to behave safely by being safety conscious and following safe work practices.
Being part of the team
When you join a brigade you become part of a large team of volunteers who have an important job to do for their community. To do this job properly and safely its very important that everyone does their bit to try and get along with each other. The TFS has some basic values you will be required to follow to help ensure there is a positive environment in the brigade for all our members. They are:
• Serving the Tasmanian community
• Being responsive to community needs
• Being progressive and delivering quality services
• Dedication and pride in our organisation
• Being skilled, efficient, committed and innovative
• Using our collective capabilities to deliver an excellent service
• Being accountable for our actions
• Being trustworthy and ethical
• Treating each other fairly and honestly
• Having the courage to do the right thing
• Each other
• Working together to achieve our goals
• Treating each other with respect and understanding
• Being supportive, compassionate and helping
The brigade as a team is lead and managed by its volunteer brigade officers. All officers are chosen from within the brigade membership by brigade members, on the basis of leadership and fire fighting knowledge and competency. The officer with overall responsibility for brigade management is the volunteer Brigade Chief.
TFS volunteers regularly train together at the fire station to learn and maintain the skills they need as members of a volunteer brigade. All members are required to attend this training and skills maintenance regulalry throughout the year. For operational firefighters there is also extra training that they are required to undertake, mostly in the evenings, but occasionally on weekends. All TFS trainig is now based on the the nationally recognised Public Safety Training Package (PSTP_. Any PSTP competency unit you gain with the TFS will be recognised in other Australian fire services and some are recognised in other industries.
If you are successful in becoming a volunteer you may be required to help in providing the types of services listed below, depending on your role and the type of brigade you have joined.
• Responding to bush and grass fires
• Responding to structural fires
• Responding to road accidents and hazardous materials incidents
• Attending to alarm calls
• Conducting fire hazard reduction (controlled burn-offs)
• Providing fire safety advice and programs to the local community
• Supporting local community events such as school fairs and shows
How often these types of services are performed will vary depending on the brigade and its location.
Community and social activities
In many smaller locations the volunteer fire brigade provides a focal point for the community. It may be the only place where members of the community are able to regularly come together as a group for a shared purpose.
Volunteers like to support their community in other ways and will often be asked, or volunteer, to support local community activities, such school fairs and special fundraising causes.
The social aspect is also an important part of volunteering. Volunteers are a friendly, family-orientated group of people who take their work seriously, but also like to have a bit of fun. Most brigades hold BBQs and social functions during the year.
Looking after each other
When you start in brigade it can seem a bit daunting at times - there's lots to learn and plenty of challenges. However, you won't be on your own. Someone in the brigade will usually be assigned to act as your mentor. On top of that, volunteers know they need to be able to rely on the person next to them, so they like to look after each other. If you are having a problem there's always someone there too lend a hand or offer some good advice.