Those who know how much time and effort the volunteers behind the Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades (AVBFB) give to the job often encourage us to step into the spotlight a little more often. As our incredible 26,000 bush fire volunteer members know, patting ourselves on the back isn’t what we’re about, so it’s sometimes a bit uncomfortable accepting the focus when it happens.
However, in this case, it is very important to say what some others might forget to mention: as a result of many years of bloody hard work by the AVBFB – importantly, with the cooperation of Commissioner Klemm, Hannah Tagore and the media team at DFES – we are very happy that the Minister announced the new Bush Fire Brigade medal to recognise length of service to the community.
For whatever reason, the Minister’s speech overlooked that this wonderful achievement was the result of a very positive proud partnership between the AVBFB and DFES, so this is one example where it is vitally important to remind everyone of the good that comes from staying true to our goal of supporting, recognising and representing our amazing members without fear or favour.
The special significance of this goal is that for many years Bush Fire Volunteers have not had access to the same formal recognition of service as our colleagues in the other fire and emergency services. Today’s announcement is a huge step forward in our long journey of trying to equal the respect and recognition owed to our truly amazing volunteer members.
The AVBFB thanks the new Commissioner and the Media Team for working so positively and effectively with us to deliver this wonderful outcome for the people of WA’s largest emergency service.