NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Superintendent Kam Baker has praised the hard work and dedication of the Greater Taree, Port Macquarie / Hastings NSW RFS volunteers during the recent bushfire emergencies.
"Our brigades are made up of men and women from all walks of life, from different backgrounds, ages and professions," said Superintendent Baker.
"They are a reflection of our local communities and we are extremely fortunate to have them on hand to help us during times of emergency.
"Volunteers are the core of the Service, selfless individuals who are driven by their dedication to helping others.
"One Team Many Players.
"That includes attending not only bush and grass fires, but also motor vehicle accidents, structure fires and other emergencies.
"While we should all be proud of their commitment, the community should also recognise the support of the volunteers' families and employers. Employers who support our volunteers are making an invaluable and very direct contribution to the firefighting effort."
Superintendent Baker said "Whether you live, work or travel through bush fire prone areas it is essential that you know what you will do in the event of a fire emergency.
"Creating a Bush Fire Survival Plan or reviewing a current plan well ahead of the onset of fire can greatly assist in ensuring residents and their families know what they will do if a fire situation does arise."
Superintendent Baker said people can assess their home's bush fire risk using the NSW RFS Bush Fire Household Assessment Tool available at rfs.nsw.gov.au
"There are five simple steps every resident should take to reduce the risk of being affected by bush or grass fires:
o Prepare a Bush Fire Survival Plan
o Remove leaves and debris from gutters
o Maintain grass, keeping it short
o Remove potentially flammable items like mulch or wood piles
o Trim back branches close to your home.
More information about bushfires and protecting your property from fire is available on the NSW RFS website, www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.