The Information for Families guide is designed to support family members and/or caregivers of new CFA members by giving them tailored information about the impact volunteering may have on them and their families.
Brigade Community Safety Coordinator Josh Oates said the guide really helps get a better understanding of what a volunteer firefighter does.
“The guide is a gem,” Josh said. “It’s a great way for new members and their families to understand what you do as a firefighter and help maybe ease their minds.”
In developing this guide, CFA recognised that being a volunteer impacts not only the CFA member but also their families.
Ensuring families are informed about what it means to be a part of CFA contributes to the health, safety, wellbeing, inclusion and ultimately retention of CFA members.
Josh’s dad, Adam, said he was apprehensive when Josh first joined the brigade because of what he may have to do as a firefighter.
“As a father I am always a bit worried when he goes to callouts,” Adam said. “But the guide was great because it gave me a better understanding of what Josh actually does.
“I’m now across all the training that’s involved, so I understand he’s not going to go out and do things he isn’t trained for.
“It’s also really useful to know that when he comes home from an incident, there are some things for me to watch out for in Josh,” Adam added. “There may be something that could be a bit destressing that Josh might see in the role, so it’s a good thing for me to watch out and see how he’s travelling.”
The Information for Families Guide can be accessed on the CFA website for current members and their families. New members will receive a resource booklet, with access details, to pass on to their family members in their Welcome to CFA pack.
Both these resources have been developed through a strong collaboration between CFA directorates and a volunteer working group to support new members on their volunteer journey and connect them with the new General Firefighter training package.