‘You just have to put your hand up’: The volunteer firies who drop everything to help

Posted December 06, 2018 06:21:34

Photo: Andrew Slade has been a volunteer firefighter since the 1980s. (ABC Wide Bay: Brad Marsellos) Related Story: 45C in November: ‘Extraordinary’ Queensland heatwave smashes records Related Story: Livestock ‘couldn’t escape the fire’ say farmers pointing finger at National Parks

While the Queensland bushfire disaster has blackened 4.2 million hectares — just over two per cent of the state — widespread damage to homes and human life has largely been avoided.

It is something that could not have been achieved without the volunteers, many who left their jobs, income and daily lives behind to battle blazes, make sandwiches and direct traffic, right alongside the thousands of emergency personnel.

It is a feat even the Queen has acknowledged.

“I pay tribute to the commitment and dedication of the firefighters, other emergency services personnel, and the volunteers who are working tirelessly to contain the fires,” the Queen said in a message.

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