Junior brigades are a fantastic way to introduce young people to firefighting
Leitchville Fire Brigade has become the latest CFA brigade to take part in the Junior Volunteer Development Program (JVDP).
The JVDP runs around 170 brigades across Victoria and aims to introduce young people (aged 11-15 years) to CFA. The program teaches members to become fire-safe citizens, and teaches skills to build confidence, develop relationships and work as part of a team.
Jim Parsons is the 2nd Lieutenant, Training Officer and now, Junior Leader, of Leitchville Fire Brigade. He said the idea to start a Juniors program was borne from a desire to encourage more extra-curricular activities in local youth.
“It’s great of course because it means we get to train the next generation of firefighters – we’re future-proofing our brigade. However, running a Juniors program also means we can offer something other than footy, cricket or netball. It gives the kids something else to do that’s also community-oriented.”
Jim said he would encourage all young people to seek out a Junior brigade in their local area.
“Taking part in Juniors is a great way to get involved with your community while learning future life skills. It’s a great program.”
CFA Volunteer Programs Leader – Youth, Jen Clement, echoed Jim’s statements, saying Juniors is a great way to take part in your local community.
“The Junior Volunteer Development Program means young people can learn both life and firefighting skills in a safe and supportive environment,” said Jen.
“We see these young people come in and learn so much, boost their self-esteem and make fantastic new friends at the same time.”
JVDP activities are usually conducted at the local fire station, but may also involve excursions, camps and championship activities.
While each local JVDP program looks different and reflects the needs and interest of the local brigade and community, all programs work to build the skills of junior members in 5 key areas:
- Understanding of volunteering and community service
- Knowledge of CFA’s history and competition
- Emergency response skills
- Teamwork and leadership skills
- Familiarisation with all hazard types
Find out more about CFA’s Junior Volunteer Development Program on Members Online.