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Supporting the next generation of firies

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NEWS UPDATE 03.01.2018

Supporting the next generation of firies

Arc Infrastructure has announced a $30,000 funding initiative with the WA Volunteer Fire & Rescue Services Association (VFRS), creating a State-wide partnership to encourage, support, upskill and train the next generation of volunteers throughout WA.

Supporting the next generation of firies teaser

Since its inception in 1898, the VFRS has protected and served hundreds of communities from Kununurra to Esperance with its legion of dedicated volunteers often at the front line of bushfire threats and first responders to critical, life-threatening incidents.

However, in recent years the replenishment rate for its retiring members has not kept up with demand for services, putting pressure on existing volunteers to maintain critical services across WA.

Recognising this challenge and the valuable sacrifice VFRS volunteers make, Arc Infrastructure’s financial support and partnership will create a Youth Leadership Program to attract new generations to volunteer, replenish the ranks of retiring members and ensure the Association remains at operational capacity year round.

Arc Infrastructure will also fund a Youth Skills Scholarship, providing funds to connect young volunteers with industry leading skills training and best-practice seminars across the country and around the world. Scholarship recipients will in turn transfer these skills directly to their regional
colleagues and contribute to youth engagement activities including school visits, regional awareness tours and junior events.

Arc Infrastructure’s General Manager Customer Operations Neil Hamel said the valuable service that the VFRS provides to WA communities cannot be overestimated.

“Fire and Rescue Services volunteers make a significant personal sacrifice and their dedication provides a critical service to our State, one that countless individuals and organisations, including our company, have benefited from,” Mr Hamel said.

“This partnership will allow the VFRS to continue to help and protect our regional communities and ensure the young men and women of the Association have access to industry-leading training and support.”

“We are incredible proud to partner with the Association to create such a worthy initiative and one that will continue to benefit the VFRS and the communities it serves for many years to come. We share an extensive operation footprint with the Association throughout the southern half of the State and this partnership reaffirms our commitment to invest in and support the communities in which we operate.”

VFRS President Paul du Boulay, said the creation of the Youth Council and Skills Scholarship program will have a significant affect in attracting new volunteers to the Association.

“We are very proud to partner with Arc Infrastructure and this support will assist us in providing the future of our Service with a strategic and operational voice that will benefit all members both young and old,” Mr du Boulay said.

Youth Skills Scholarships will be announced in early 2018 and will be open to all VFRS Brigades to participate.

Media Contact:
Hannah Jenkins
Corporate Affairs Advisor
Phone: 0447 881 852
Email: hannah.jenkins@arcinfra.com

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