IN recognition of their work within the community, the Morwell and Tyers Fire Brigades celebrated National Volunteer Week (May 20-26), thanking all of their volunteers, firefighters, and other volunteer roles within their stations.

The Tyers Fire Brigade secretary and social media manager, Kate Wisewould, said it was about recognising the efforts and contributions their volunteers make to the community. “It’s about showcasing our members as regular, everyday people, especially CFA volunteers,” she said.

Each brigade has many opportunities, varying from all sorts of jobs. Morwell Fire Brigade’s captain, Wayne Draper; Tyers Fire Brigade’s communications officer, Rachel Cowan; and Ms Wisewould explained that there was much to do regarding roles, not all of which required getting onto the trucks.

Ms Cowan said when she first started, she didn’t really know much about the brigade and what you could do. “I literally thought that being a firefighter is all that you do, but there are so many more opportunities that people can get involved with. Volunteer Week is about celebrating that and bringing more awareness to what we do,” she said.

Morwell Fire Brigade’s captain, Wayne Draper, said there were a lot of different positions in the brigade. “You don’t have to be an active firefighter. There are roles in community work, safety stuff, and helping other brigades if they need help with membership,” he said.

Ms Wisewould told the Express that just being a part of the brigade had given her skills that can be used in everyday life. “There are so many training opportunities,” she said, emphasising that it doesn’t matter who you are; the CFA is all-inclusive.

According to Ms Wisewould, the CFA was historically a male-based organisation, but in recent times, the number of female volunteers in all roles has been increasing.

“In the Tyers Fire Brigade, we have over a quarter of our membership female volunteers, which is amazing for a semi-rural brigade that is on the outskirts of the urban community,” she said.

“There are plenty of us on the brigade management team that are females. Female firefighters are no different to any of our male members. We all see ourselves as one team regardless of gender.”

Volunteer: The Tyres Fire Brigade communications officer Rachel Cowan and secretary Kate Wisewould celebrating Volunteers Week. Photograph: Katrina Brandon

Not having quite the same luck with female numbers, the Morwell Fire Brigade aims to have a female campaign in July, encouraging more females and others to come along to the brigade. Captain Draper said that they planned a program in July. The brigade will be open once a week for a couple of hours, sharing what opportunities are available in the brigade. For those with children, Captain Draper said the kids were more than welcome to come down to the training nights.

Both brigades mentioned that the CFA is a close-knit community where you can mix with different brigades and see support throughout the organisation. Captain Draper has been with the CFA for 35 years and said he spent a break from the CFA but couldn’t wait to return.

“I have been in the fire brigade 35 years and went away for five years, but I returned to it. You missed it. It’s your family. Everyone understands where you are. We look after each other. That’s how it works. It becomes your second family,” he said.

Both brigades are open to the community and encourage people to chat with them, ask questions, and check things out. The Tyers brigade welcomes everyone of all ages every Sunday from 10am.


Recruitment drive open with FRV



FIRE Rescue Victoria (FRV) is encouraging Gippslanders to apply for the next round of recruitment, which is open between July 1 and July 8 this year.

FRV’s Acting Commissioner, Michelle Cowling AFSM, said firefighting was no ordinary job.

“Some jobs stand out for the profound impact they have on the community, and this is a great case in point,” Ms Cowling said.

“Firefighting is a highly respected profession and quickly becomes an extraordinary career.

“It’s a job in which no two days are the same, and every single day firefighters make a difference, working alongside Victoria’s other emergency services.”

The Acting Commander, Leigh Allan, said FRV in Gippsland provided a wonderful opportunity for work-life balance.

“You live in the area you love while working in a very dynamic and rewarding profession.
“Whether it’s fighting fires or comforting a child who has his or her hand stuck, this is a very satisfying job.”

Nudge: Fire Rescue Victoria are encouraging Gippslanders to apply for recruitment this year. Members of the Traralgon Fire Station proudly wear the navy blue uniform. Photograph supplied

FRV firefighters are provided with great opportunities for role specialisation and career progression.

These include Emergency Medical Response (EMR), Urban Search and Rescue, High Angle Rescue, Heavy Rescue, Road Crash Rescue, Marine Response and more.

FRV is looking for people who have strong problem-solving skills and demonstrate integrity, accountability and have appropriate all-round strength and fitness. Firefighters are first responders and engender community trust and confidence, especially in emergencies.

Acting Commissioner Cowling said FRV welcomed people from diverse backgrounds.

“We want our workforce to reflect the diversity of the community we serve. Firefighting is an exciting and rewarding career for people from all walks of life,” she said.

People interested in learning more should attend information session at the Morwell Fire Station, 171 Princess Drive, Morwell on Monday, June 24 from 6.30pm until 8pm.

Registrations are essential. People can register at

For more information, visit