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There are five emergency volunteering services, each which respond to different types of emergencies. Whether you're providing support on the frontline, or assisting in support roles, there are many ways to be involved.

youth cadets

Youth Programs

Regardless of age, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to volunteer. If you are under 18 years old, you could consider joining a cadet or junior program at your local brigade, group or unit, or you could see whether your local high school offers an Emergency Services Cadet Corp program.

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Bush Fire Brigade volunteer

Bush Fire Service

The Bush Fire Service consists of more than 500 Bush Fire Brigades which provide fire prevention and response capabilities in their local area. These fires can be of bush and scrub or structural.

Roles within this brigade are not limited to emergency situations and can include firefighting, equipment maintenance, community education, social media coordination and public relations management.

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Fire and Emergency volunteer

Volunteer Fire & Emergency Services

Fire and Emergency Services volunteers respond to a range of local emergencies including bushfires, floods, vehicle crashes and land searches for missing persons.

Each unit has been designed to meet the needs of their local community, so available roles are dependent on the volunteer unit's location.

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Fire and Rescue volunteer

Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service

Fire and Rescue Service volunteers respond to local emergencies involving vehicles, related to an industrial incident, or resulting from a bush, scrub or structural fire.

There are a range of roles available including firefighting, community education, equipment maintenance, road crash rescue and training.

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Marine Rescue volunteer

Marine Rescue WA

Marine Rescue volunteers work in close liaison with the WA Police Force to coordinate and perform marine rescue activities as well as assisting during other emergencies including bushfires.

Volunteer roles can vary and can include radio communications, crewing rescue vessels, navigation and chart reading, social media coordination and public relations management.

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SES volunteers

State Emergency Service (SES)

The SES provides invaluable response capabilities, providing essential response during storms, cyclones and floods. They also work closely with WA Police on land searches and rescues. The SES also maintains a range or specialist capabilities with their Canine and Equine Units, logistical and communications specialisations.

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Other Ways to Volunteer

Volunteering for emergency services doesn't always mean you'll be working on the frontline. There are a number of other ways that you can get involved and help your community, too.

Heritage Center visitors

Education and Heritage Centre

The Centre provides an interactive and interesting experience for the public by allowing them to explore the history of the WA Fire Brigade. Roles at the Centre include assisting in the delivery of school programs, being a tour guide or participating in curatorial activities.

Graphical map


MAPS-WA consists of mapping professionals who use their specialised skills in Geographical Information System (GIS) to assist during emergency incidents.

Bushfire Ready facilitators

'Bushfire Ready' Facilitators

Bushfire Ready facilitators play a key role in coordinating their local communities to work together and undertake activities to reduce the risk of bushfires. Facilitators receive firefighter training, but do not have to respond to emergencies.

SWORD volunteer


The State Wide Operational Response Division (SWORD) consists of a variety of units, with volunteers sent around the state to provide logistical, research, rescue and specialist communications support during emergencies.

  • Communication and support volunteers

    SWORD - Communications Support Unit

    This specialised unit provides vital expertise and technology to maintain reliable communications during major incidents. The unit operates vehicles which provide mobile satellite technology, high resolution video and thermal imaging. Volunteers are also trained to assist in the DFES Operations Centre during widespread emergencies.

  • Volunteer Band

    SWORD - Emergency Services Volunteer Band

    A love for music and a desire to contribute to the community are what brings these volunteers together. Members come from all walks of life and have the opportunity to represent the DFES, its staff and volunteers at official and community events.

  • Fire and Emergency personnel

    SWORD - Fire and Emergency Services

    This secondary response volunteer team is based in Perth. All volunteers within this division are primarily trained for bush fire response to provide support around the state when required.

  • Canine Section volunteers

    SWORD - Canine Section

    This specialised section provides an invaluable additional skill set for emergency services response. Teamed with their highly trained search dogs, volunteers provide assistence in searches for missing persons.

  • SES volunteer

    SWORD - SES Logistics

    Logistics preparedness is a key component of any disaster reduction effort. Volunteers operating within this unit work diligently behind the scenes in order to maintain the effective functioning of volunteer services.

  • SES Mounted Section volunteer

    SWORD - SES Mounted Section

    This specialist section offers vital support to volunteers involved in land search response. As volunteers are able to work with their horses to cover large areas of land, they can greatly improve search capabilities.

USAR member with her canine

USAR Canine Unit

The Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Canine Unit provides invaluable support in locating live casualties during time-sensitive incidents. Being a volunteer with this unit requires a high degree of commitment, as training a new canine takes approximately one to two years. To learn more about the USAR Canine Unit and required commitment, Information pack on the main DFES website.

Volunteer in heritage firefighter uniform

Vintage Fleet Restoration Group

The Vintage Fleet Restoration Group provides a vital connection to the history of the Fire Brigade in WA by restoring, maintaining and displaying vintage fire appliances. Members include former emergency personnel, vintage car and truck enthusiasts and interested community members.