West Australian freight rail managers, Arc Infrastructure have announced a $30,000 funding initiative with the WA Volunteer Fire & Rescue Services Association (VFRS) to inspire the next generation of fire volunteers.
With the rise of retiring members and high demand for services, there is growing pressure on existing volunteers to maintain these services.
Recognising this challenge Arc Infrastructure has created a Youth Leadership Program to attract new generations to volunteer and ensure the Association remains at working capacity all year round.
Arc Infrastructure will also fund a Youth Skills Scholarship, providing funds to connect young volunteers with industry leading skills training and seminars across the country and around the world.
The Youth Scholarship program will be available to young volunteer firefighters from across the State, including the Wheatbelt zone.
Scholarship recipients will in turn transfer these skills directly to their regional colleagues and contribute to youth engagement activities including school visits, regional awareness tours and junior events.
Arc Infrastructure General Manager of Customer Operations Neil Hamel, said the valuable service that the VFRS provides to WA communities cannot be overestimated.
“This partnership will allow the VFRS to continue to help and protect our regional communities and ensure the young men and women of the Association have access to industry-leading training and support,” Mr Hamel said.
VFRS President Paul du Boulay, said the creation of the Youth Council and Skills Scholarship program will have a significant affect in attracting new volunteers to the Association.
“We are very proud to partner with Arc Infrastructure and this support will assist us in providing the future of our Service with a strategic and operational voice that will benefit all members both young and old,” Mr du Boulay said.
Youth Skills Scholarships will be announced in early 2018 and will be open to all VFRS Brigades to participate.