Volunteers are a vital part of Tasmania Fire Service. Beyond our four career brigades, fire brigades in Tasmania are made up of highly skilled and dedicated volunteers drawn from the local community. Approximately 5000 volunteers operate from over 200 stations in the urban areas, larger towns and rural areas across the state.
Most TFS volunteers participate as operational firefighters. This involves responding to emergency incidents such as bushfires, structure fires, motor vehicle incidents, and other incidents where risks are posed to life and/or property. Operational roles may also involve undertaking hazard reduction activities and assisting other emergency agencies.
A growing number of volunteers participate as operational support members. These members provide vital support to brigades in areas like:
- administration, communications and logistical support
- brigade training and equipment maintenance
- community fire safety and preparedness
- events and fundraising
- junior and cadet development
- promotion and publicity
- volunteer recruitment
Who are volunteers?
Volunteers come from all parts of the community, from a range of ages and backgrounds. They live in isolated rural areas, in country towns, in the cities, the suburbs and on the five- and ten-acre blocks on the urban fringe. They are people just like you.
Many people who decide to become volunteers are motivated by a desire to do something for their community and help others in need. However, there are other aspects to volunteering which people also find very appealing, such as:
- Educating the community about fire safety
- Continually learning and practicing useful skills
- Doing physical work
- Belonging to a team
- Forming friendships and socialising together
When you join a brigade you become part of a team who have an important job to do for their community.
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.
How do I apply?
You will need to be:
- 18 years or over
- Of good character
- Available to regularly attend brigade meetings and training
- Available to attend emergency incidents
- Medically and physically fit to undertake the work volunteers are given
- Able to become competent in the tasks volunteers are trained to perform
- Capable of working and fitting in with other volunteers
Juniors and Cadet members
Tasmania Fire Service also welcomes young people getting involved in their local brigade. Many brigades across Tasmania have Junior members aged 10 to 14 years and Cadet members aged 15 to 17 years.
Junior and Cadet members participate in fun and exciting training activities in a well supervised and safe environment. These activities provide an opportunity for young members to learn about fire risks and how to become good fire citizens. They also help young members to develop and grow life skills that can be used outside of TFS, such as communication, teamwork and leadership skills.
Junior and Cadet members are supervised by Junior & Cadet Coordinators (adult volunteer brigade members), who hold a Working with Vulnerable People Registration. If your local brigade has a Junior or Cadet program you’ll need your parent’s permission to join.
Becoming a volunteer
The first step is to contact your local brigade directly or through the TFS Regional Office in your part of the state. The Brigade Chief or First Officer will normally invite you along to visit the brigade on one of its training nights.
There, you’ll be introduced to the members and given a tour of the station. The Brigade Chief or another officer will then talk to you about the brigade, why you’re interested in joining, and what sort of things you could be expected to do and learn over the next few months.
If you decide to continue, you’ll need to fill in an application form.
You will need to express your interest in becoming a volunteer by completing the relevant application form provided to you during your brigade visit.
If you are applying for adult membership, you:
- Will be required to consent to a National Police History Record Check
- May be required to obtain a Working With Vulnerable People Registration if your brigade runs a Junior or Cadet Program, or regularly interacts with young people
- May be required to have a medical check from your doctor depending on the role you wish to undertake in your brigade.
If you are applying for Junior or Cadet membership, you’ll need your parent’s permission to join.
These documents and your discussion with the brigade members will form the basis of your application for membership.
Everyone who becomes a member of a brigade serves a probation period of at least three months. Probation is a trial period of learning and development, where you and the brigade members get to know each other and find out if you will be suited to your role and to the brigade. It also gives you an opportunity to learn about the role and decide if you want to go ahead with becoming a volunteer.
Successful members will be selected by the Brigade Chief or First Officer, in consultation with the current members. Your suitability will be assessed on:
- Your efforts in turning up and participating in brigade activities
- The way you fit in with other members
- Satisfactory completion of basic training
- Your behaviour in upholding the values and reputation of the brigade and TFS
Donations for Volunteer Brigades
The dedication and commitment of our volunteers in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of fellow Tasmanians is greatly valued by the community. For this reason many people choose to make donations for the benefit of our volunteers.
Donations to the TFS Volunteer Support Fund (Community) may be made as:
- a general donation for the benefit of all our volunteers
- a nominated donation for the benefit of a specific volunteer brigade or group of volunteer brigades
The Tasmania Fire Service, through the State Fire Commission, is registered with the Australian Taxation Office as Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). All donations of $2 or more can be tax deductible and donors can be provided with a tax receipt.
Cheque or Money Order Donations
- Draw a cheque or money order for the amount you would like to donate, made payable to ‘Tasmania Fire Service’
- Send your cheque or money order to Tasmania Fire Service – Volunteer Support Fund, GPO Box 308 Hobart TAS 7001
- Attach your name and address so that we can return a tax-deductible receipt to you
- Should you wish your donation to benefit a specific TFS volunteer brigade or group of TFS volunteer brigades, please include instructions with your donation
Direct Deposit Donations
- Deposit funds directly from your account to the TFS Account:
- Email confirmation of your deposit to email@example.com and include your name and address if you would like a tax-deductible receipt sent to you
- If you wish your donation to benefit a specific TFS volunteer brigade or group of TFS volunteer brigades, please include instructions about that with your donation
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer member of TFS, phone or email your nearest TFS Regional Office so they can arrange contact with a member from the brigade in your area.
Northern Region: 03 6777 3666
North West Region: 03 6477 7250
Southern Region: 03 6166 5500