HORSHAM FIRE Brigade has strengthened the capacity of the brigade in the past 12 months with the addition of eight new volunteers from its targeted recruitment campaign.
Captain John St Clair said the new volunteers had reinforced the brigade’s ability to respond to daytime fires.
“We actively recruited members who can respond between 9am and 5pm and as a result we have improved our response time dramatically,” he said.
The volunteer brigade has met its turn-out target on at least 90 per cent of calls.
The new recruits included night shift workers, people who are able to leave their work during the day and mothers.
Six of the new recruits have completed their training to become active firefighters while the remaining two will soon join the response teams.
The brigade had about 100 members on the books including juniors and non-operational volunteers with 50 active volunteer firefighters.
Mr St Clair said he was grateful to the volunteer’s employers for giving their employees the time to respond to emergencies.
While the brigade had enough volunteers to respond to calls around the clock, Mr St Clair said new members were always welcome.
“We could always have more people and it’s a good feeling to provide a service that protects the community,” he said.
The brigade respond to about 200 calls a year including structure fires, fuel spills and other emergencies.
“In the past 15 months we’ve been lucky and had only a four structure fires,” he said. “It has reduced in the last 12 months.”
Mr St Clair said people wanting more information on volunteering could contact him or Michelle Smith at the Horsham Fire Station on Monday after 7.30pm.
Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria chief executive Andrew Ford said volunteers were essential to public safety.
Mr Ford said volunteers were part of the fabric of society and contributed to community resilience.
“Our dedicated volunteers are continuing a great Australian tradition that is well respected in our communities,” he said.