Getting Started: What To Consider
Think about each role
If you would like to become a volunteer, please take the time to carefully consider the following:
Why are you volunteering? What roles might reflect the contribution you want to make?
How much time do you have to give, considering your work, family, and friends?
Do you want to develop any specific skills? Will these skills be better developed in a response or support role?
What type of roles interest you? What type of roles would not be your thing?
To help you understand what is involved, read through our FAQs
Talk to your family
By its nature, the emergency services can take you away from home at short notice. Depending on your role, you may also be placed in potentially dangerous situations. It’s important that you speak to your family before volunteering to ensure you all have:
a clear understanding of why you want to volunteer;
an appreciation of the time involved and the type of work you might be doing;
agreement on the amount of time you might dedicate to the role;
agreement about how the family will function if you are called out at short-notice or are on roster; and
an understanding of the benefits to you, your family and the community.
To put your family at ease, you might also consider visiting your local brigade, group or unit with your loved ones so everyone can get a feel for your role and your future team members.
Talk to your Employer
Emergencies can happen at any time, so it’s essential that you talk with your employer about your intent to volunteer to determine the level of support they can provide.
By having a conversation with your employer, you can help them understand the challenges, benefits and opportunities that come from having you volunteer, which includes DFES’ Employer Recognition Awards. You can also help them understand their rights as an employer when deciding to release you from work.
Start your search
Considering what you, your family and your employer have discussed and agreed upon, you can start looking for suitable volunteering opportunities here, on this website.
You can also visit your local brigade, group or unit to chat to local members and ask about available roles. They will be happy to show you around the premises and answer any questions you may have.
Alternatively, you can visit your local Volunteer Resource Centre or local government to talk about the volunteering opportunities available.
Volunteering opportunities come up all the time, so even if you don’t see a suitable role straight away, be sure to check our website regularly.
Remember, you can always visit your local brigade, group and unit to register your interest. Your local volunteer team will be happy to speak with you and can also suggest other local or regional opportunities.