News & Media

GippsAero supports volunteers

Tue 14 May 2013
Posted by

To celebrate National Volunteer Week (13-19 May), CFA is saying “thanks a million” to its volunteers, families and employers for everything they do. This week we will feature a series of profile stories to highlight the great work and diversity of our volunteer members.

Moe 3rd Lieutenant Jon Dewsbury got the call at 4.50am to be deployed as part of a Rapid Response Team for the major Aberfeldy bushfire – just two hours before his shift at GippsAero as an aircraft maintenance engineer.

“If it wasn’t for understanding employers such as mine, it just wouldn’t be possible to deploy volunteer crews to the fireground as quickly as we do,” Jon said.

“I worked until 8.00pm that day, stayed another day and then worked another 26 hours at Walhalla that week. I’ve had to leave work quite a few times this summer. I kept in close contact with work about the conditions and they were fine with it.

“We had quite a few fires down here throughout summer – throughout the Thorpdale area, Yarragon and Darnum. There was a fire at Colville that lasted two weeks. Our tanker was working on the major fires and it was a big commitment from the brigade to back it up at home.”

Bushfire is a big part of the business for GippsAero, which is based at the La Trobe regional airport alongside the Department of Environment and Primary Industries airbase.

“We’ve got good relations with the Skycrane guys as we do a fair bit of maintenance work on the firebombers. Everyone has a good understanding of how it all works when the CFA and SES volunteers have got to go,” Jon said.

According to Lloyd Clarke, Human Capital Manager at GippsAero, volunteer work fits in well with the company’s ‘Rise’ philosophy which encourages employees to improve the lives, environment and wellbeing of their community.

“We’re totally committed to our volunteers so we’re more than happy to release them for any emergency, either training or emergency relief.  We’ll do whatever is necessary to support them in their roles in the community now and moving forward,” Lloyd said.

“They give us a heads up of what may be happening as soon as practical, especially when they’re on call, and we worry about the paperwork later. With CFA or SES volunteers it’s more important that they respond and that no one’s health or safety is in jeopardy.”

Out of approximately 150 staff at GippsAero, around 10 are volunteers with CFA or SES.

“There are a few guys here from Traralgon and Traralgon West and they’re covered by staff at Morwell and Traralgon so it works well. We try not to go away at the same time,” Jon said.

“Volunteering with CFA creates good life skills and is a good way to help out your local community. I’d encourage people to get in there and do it. You’ve got to work hard to get opportunities in life and you don’t get them if you hesitate.”

In addition to his operational role with the Moe brigade, Jon has volunteered with the council to work with local youth, plays football for the Moe Lions and coaches the Moe brigade junior running team.

“I’m busy but it works out in the long run. It takes an effort. At Moe we work together as a good team and share the load,” Jon said.

See also:

Wheels turning for CFA volunteers

Grateful home owner says thanks

At Kapish, understanding is key

Volunteers welcomed back to work

CFA family in every sense

Doing more for Cashmore

Thanks for Tullamore due

Plenty of support for CFA

Boral builds support for CFA vols

Cohuna Car Sales revs up volunteers

On CFA's menu of top employers

Square is perfect fit for volunteers

KS Build OK with volunteers

Free to fly

Getting the truck out at Mt Camel

Work volunteer balance at Bega

Diamond shines for CFA

Employer is Matt's knight in armour

Teacher gives volunteering lesson

If you have a volunteer story you would like to share, get in touch with us at

- Story by Jason Leigh

Last Updated: 17 May 2013

Smoke alarm saves Lara family

Wed 26 Aug 2015
A working smoke alarm has saved the lives of two people from a house fire in Lara this morning (26 August).

Drysdale farm shed fire

Thu 20 Aug 2015
Update @ 12:45pm: Crews have worked to contain the blaze, which is now under control.

Monbulk panel beater fire

Mon 17 Aug 2015
CFA firefighters have been battling a blaze at a panel beater building in Monbulk this morning (17 August).

Woman injured in Shepparton kitchen fire

Sun 16 Aug 2015
A young woman has received minor burns to her hand after a fire broke out in her kitchen while cooking last night (15 August).

Emergency training hots up in Sunraysia

Fri 28 Aug 2015
Emergency services volunteers from across the north west will now have better access to practical training with the opening of a new training campus in Mildura.

CFA CEO speaks to ABC

Fri 28 Aug 2015
Michael Wootten speaks to ABC Gippsland today regarding CFA’s regional training grounds.

Spring Brigade emag now online

Thu 27 Aug 2015
The digital version of the spring 2015 Brigade magazine is now online. The paper version will be delivered next week.

Fire brigades to open their doors

Thu 27 Aug 2015
Around 100 CFA brigades across Victoria will open their doors over the next few months to give the community a glimpse of the work being done by CFA members all year round.
View all news

News by location

CFA CEO speaks to ABC

2015-08-28 00:01:06
Fri 28 Aug 2015
Michael Wootten speaks to ABC Gippsland today regarding CFA’s regional training grounds.

Spring Brigade emag now online

2015-08-27 05:31:07
Thu 27 Aug 2015
The digital version of the spring 2015 Brigade magazine is now online. The paper version will be delivered next week.

Fire brigades to open their doors

2015-08-27 03:47:57
Thu 27 Aug 2015
Around 100 CFA brigades across Victoria will open their doors over the next few months to give the community a glimpse of the work being done by CFA members all year round.

Learning from the past, planning for the future

2015-08-27 02:44:22
Thu 27 Aug 2015
How can emergency service agencies measure the effect of policies and prepare for natural disasters beyond our current experience?

Emergency Services Blood Challenge 1 week to go...

2015-08-24 14:22:09
Tue 25 Aug 2015
CFA has hit the front, we're now up on those Blood Donating champions VicPol!
Find My Region
Back to top