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Juniors breathing new life into our brigades
In honour of youth week CFA is looking at some of our stellar junior programs that provide skills to the local community’s youth.
The Junior Volunteer Development Program (JVDP) runs in over 200 brigades across the state.
The program aims to provide juniors aged between 11-15 with the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of social, recreational and educational activities at their local brigade.
Each brigade has the opportunity to develop their own program structure, and one example is the Tatura Fire Brigade who focuses on fire brigade competitions.
The Tatura juniors currently hold the title of 2017 Urban Junior Champions, a title which they’ve held for four years running.
Second Lieutenant Alan Tyson is just one of many who help with the Tatura Juniors. Alan said the fire brigade competitions require a multitude of different skills that include teamwork, individuality, precision and explosiveness.
“It is great to know that junior members are getting skills that can better help them to serve the community when they become operational,” Alan said
“We have had a number of juniors go on to be operational as well as their parents who have become members because of their child’s participation.”
The Toolangi Fire Brigade have adopted a different approach to their junior program, focusing on fire safety education and modified firefighting activities inspiring youth to work towards becoming a senior member.
Fourth Lieutenant of Toolangi Brigade Dawn Hartog is also a passionate Junior Leader and said that Toolangi’s junior program was so successful in transitioning their juniors into senior members that in 2009 Toolangi’s junior program came to a close.
“The brigade was eager to revive the program in 2013 so we held an activity day and it was a success, we received seven applications, and today we are 20 junior members strong,” Dawn said.
“Since 2013 we have had multiple junior members that turned 16 undergo minimum skills training and go on to volunteer as firefighters at various brigades.
“Our Juniors learn leadership and communication skills, how to work in a team, map reading, but most importantly they learn the value of volunteering in their community.
“The juniors bring a new energy into the brigade, which is very refreshing.
“They’re the future of not only our brigade but also the community, so it is so important for us to encourage and support them.”
To find out more about the CFA junior brigades click here.