A new campaign to attract and train emergency volunteers before disaster strikes will save lives and property.
The 'Join, Learn, Be Ready' campaign is a collaborative effort between six emergency response organisations.
Funded by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments, the campaign asks ordinary Tasmanians to consider volunteering early to help Tasmania's emergency services.
Tasmanians naturally want to help during times of crisis – often when the emergency services are stretched and find it more difficult to provide training.
This campaign encourages Tasmanians to join, learn the skills to help, and be ready before it's needed.
It's clear from events in Queensland and New Zealand recently and from direct experiences on the Tasman Peninsula in 2012 that when disasters happen people naturally want to help.
Spontaneous volunteers are good but prepared and trained volunteers are better.
With help from Volunteering Tasmania, the participating organisations are Tasmania Fire Service, State Emergency Service, Ambulance Tasmania, the Australian Red Cross, St John Ambulance and Surf Life Saving Tasmania.
Volunteer safety is important and that's easiest when they join an existing emergency management organisation.
Volunteering Tasmania is coordinating the campaign and can refer people to other community groups if they can't find a volunteer role with one of the six participating emergency management organisations.
The state's emergency services rely on volunteers, especially in rural communities.
They come from all walks of life. Some have jobs, some are students and some are retired. They don't do it for money or praise. They do it because they can.
Volunteering Tasmania is anticipating the campaign will mean there are more trained volunteers ready to help in times of crisis.
For more information go to www.emergencyvolunteers.tas.gov.au
The launch of this Campaign has been possible through Commonwealth support under the Natural Disaster Resilience Program, a National Partnership Agreement. This Partnership Agreement sees projects led by state agencies, local councils, non-government organisations, volunteer organisations and researchers helping communities better prepare and respond to natural disasters.