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Author Topic: Are you a Volunteer?  (Read 2917 times)

Martin13

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Are you a Volunteer?
« on: April 05, 2008, 12:15:51 pm »

Are You a Volunteer?

In Australia we have bushfires and some are very large. I personally survived including my home, a bushfire in 2002/2003 where 1.4 Million Hectares of homes, farms, bushland and countless farm and wildlife animals were destroyed.
Due to Australia being a very large country with a small population, about 90% of firefighters are ALL volunteers-not paid. These volunteers consist of ordinary people both men and women of all ages doing training and firefighting in their own time.

I live in the State of Victoria where the Country Fire Authority (CFA) is the controlling body of Volunteer Firefighters. I myself a Voluntary member of the CFA and an Operational Wildfire/Structural Fire Firefighter. At our Brigade, we train one night each week after work and some weekends at the CFA training school.

My wife is also a Voluntary member of the CFA but in a support role (mainly because I will not let her go near a fire). The good lady is heavily involved with the communications and on large bushfires – part of the IMT (Incident Management Team) where all logistics, support, incident management etc are carried out...

The last major bushfire we had here was in December/January of 2006/2007. The bushfire in mountainous areas in and near the state forest being part of the Gippsland area. Fire crews were called in from all over the state as the fires raged out of control for weeks on end. IMT was set-up in the township of Bairnsdale and at first was about 50km’s from the fire front
The IMT control point was also where fire crews were updated on the fire and crews changed over. My good lady was sent their for a 2 week period as part of IMT.

In Victoria, we also have daylight saving, so at this time of year, the sun does not set till 9.00pm

The good lady took the photos below from where she was stationed with IMT

The first photo shows some fire trucks and the staging area – The photo was taken at 3.00pm

The second photo just outside the offices – this photo was taken just one hour later at 4.00pm; the glow in the sky is not the moon but rather, the sun. The marks on the photo are falling ash.
The Main fire front was only 20km’s away….

                                  ARE YOU A VOLUNTEER – SHARE YOUR STORY….

Martin Down Under
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tigertiger

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Re: Are uo a Volunteer?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2008, 12:56:30 pm »

A very interesting insight into life in Australia.

In the UK communities do not have the same kind of common threat to bind us together. The only threat is feral children, and nobody seems to want to stand up to them, not even the police. The few that do suffer the consequences.
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alan colson

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Re: Are uo a Volunteer?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2008, 01:09:52 pm »

I used to be a volunteer fire marshall at Silverstone, I started as a novice marshall and over the years worked upto fire tender crew but that was only at the circuit.
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boatmadman

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Re: Are uo a Volunteer?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2008, 01:12:58 pm »

And then there are those in the UK that volunteer as Magistrates - unpaid work, no legal training, just procedural training, and ALL criminal cases pass through the magistrates court. About 3% (the most serious cases) go through to the Crown Court.

Unfortunately, the range and extent of penalties available are limited by the Governemnet. So next time you read of a little darling getting away with what seems a light penalty, think government restrictions.

Ian
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bigfella

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Re: Are uo a Volunteer?
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2008, 12:42:07 am »

CFA and all rural volunteer firfighters are real heroes. These people just stop whatever they happen to be doing in their lives, be it work or even just enjoying the company of their families, and go and put their lives in danger to save whole towns from being engulfed and valuably bushland and wildlife from being destroyed. But the sad thing is that these brave men and women put their lives on the line to fight busfires that are sometimes deliberately started by idiots.

Martin I take my hat of to you and your wife, you are Australia's real heroes, thanks.

Regards David
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Martin13

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Re: Are uo a Volunteer?
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2008, 04:35:38 am »

David,
Thanks for the recognition, but am sure as hell had you been living in a rural environment, that you too would join a Volunteer fire service.
When it comes to a crisis situation, we all pull together to help each other out, because that's what us Aussies do.... O0

Martin doon under
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Martin13

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Re: Are uo a Volunteer?
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2008, 04:38:33 am »

I'm sure that their are plenty of other volunteers out there and not just fire.

Come on, tell us what you are or have been involved with. Where's the stories :o :o

Martin doon under
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Red_Hamish

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Re: Are uo a Volunteer?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2008, 08:41:06 am »

Hello all, on the point of volunteers I used to be one many years ago with the National Trust of Scotland as a Conservation Volunteer, before life puts things in the way of remaining committed to the cause.  The five regional groups do a power of work on various day / weekend and Thistle Camp holiday work breaks of either one or two weeks. The link is http://www.nts.org.uk/Conserve/ This is certainly a worthwhile way to address access issues and large scale conservation projects. The Highland and Grampin groups of which I was proud to be a contributor to do work at approximately 22 different properties ranging from forlmal gardens through castles to mountain ranges. Work can involve footpath management and trail creation, landscape and pond maintenance, fencing and tree planting, public event assistance and all sorts of varied group tasks. It is brilliant for a social interaction and skills building
within a varied age group.

On the firefighting front again in Grampian and the Highlands and Islands is predominently on a retained service with only a few full-time stations in the larger population areas. Some of the remote stations can be as simple as a trailer pump with breathing apparatus to a multi tender station with leading edge technology apparatus. We rely on the professionalism of these retained fire and rescue personnel who like the CFA are prepared to drop whateve they are doing and respond without hesitation to any emergency.  O0 O0

A point raised within an earlier post about Magistrates courts is relevent only to England and Wales to let you understand the Scottish sytem for offenders is slightly differrent from English Courts they are

Justice of the Peace Courts formerly District Courts which are presided over by lay people
http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/district/index.asp
 are the lowest level of judiciary then the Sheriff Courts leading to the Supreme Court for really serious offences. As with everything there is too much "guidance" from national government which interferes with sensible disposal of crimes. Sorry going off topic.

I'll leave it at that

cheers

Jim
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bigfella

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Re: Are uo a Volunteer?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2008, 09:26:08 am »

Unfortunately due to continuing health problems the only volunteering I can do is at the hospital. Every few months the hospital need volunteers who have health problems to be used by the specialists either before starting their career or before their final exams. Basically I go in to a consulting room and the doctors file in one by one and try and diagnose what I have. This can be a bit hard for them as I have about five differant ailments. I feel it is the least I can do after all the times the hospital as saved my life. I have done this for about four years.

Regards David
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Martin13

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Re: Are uo a Volunteer?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2008, 10:01:10 am »

Hello all, on the point of volunteers I used to be one many years ago with the National Trust of Scotland as a Conservation Volunteer, before life puts things in the way of remaining committed to the cause.  The five regional groups do a power of work on various day / weekend and Thistle Camp holiday work breaks of either one or two weeks. The link is http://www.nts.org.uk/Conserve/ This is certainly a worthwhile way to address access issues and large scale conservation projects. The Highland and Grampin groups of which I was proud to be a contributor to do work at approximately 22 different properties ranging from formal gardens through castles to mountain ranges. Work can involve footpath management and trail creation, landscape and pond maintenance, fencing and tree planting, public event assistance and all sorts of varied group tasks. It is brilliant for a social interaction and skills building
within a varied age group.

cheers

Jim

Red Hamish,
That's truly a great organisation that you were involved in. I had a look at your link and could not believe how much your Volunteers in conservation do and imagine anyone would be proud to be a part of. O0 O0 O0 Well done Jim...

Tell me, what is "Drystane Dyking" ???

Martin doon under
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gingyer

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Re: Are uo a Volunteer?
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2008, 10:46:22 am »

here is a link to "drystane dykes"
in the basic term they are large walls built using NO Cement or other adhesive.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry-stone_wall#Dry_stone_walls

in scotland there is miles upon miles of them and need to be kept maintiained.
it is not as easy as it soind I have had to fix a few it can be hard to get things right
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Red_Hamish

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Re: Are uo a Volunteer?
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2008, 11:13:55 am »

here is a link to "drystane dykes"
in the basic term they are large walls built using NO Cement or other adhesive.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry-stone_wall#Dry_stone_walls

in scotland there is miles upon miles of them and need to be kept maintiained.
it is not as easy as it soind I have had to fix a few it can be hard to get things right

Hello all, Gingyer in response to the above  all I'll say is too blooming right! It is difficlt to repair a drystane dyke but SO worthwhile. Really can give you a buzz when it is repaired and looking as good as it should.  Coincidentally my wife would like me to buld a drystane dyke at the entrance to our driveway and drive up to the house. I would consider it but at 600M from the roadside to our house I think a short element at the entry would be sufficient. As a by the by I met my wife through a mutual female friend within the CV's when she was invited to task at Brodie Castle and the first time she set eyes on me was as I stepped out of the showers  :o in a decent state I may add, before going to the evening ceilidh.

Martin doon under it is a wonderfull escape from the humdrum office life and the cameraderie which goes with it lasts a vey long time. You could always consider a vaccation over here and apply to theTrust at Charlotte  House in Edinburgh and ask to be allocated a space on a Thistle Camp. The best ones in which I participated were to Iona the island just off of Mull accessed from Oban. I was fortunate to do two over there and was blessed with fantastic weather on each visit.

Most remiss of me but I didn't know that up here in Shetland there was another property which is now owned by the Trust. They have been owners and managers of the Fair Isle estate for  some considerable time now and have added some parcels of land on the North Isles of Yell  and Unst.

cheers

Jim
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boatmadman

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Re: Are you a Volunteer?
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2008, 02:20:56 pm »

In the Lake District we have a version of drystane dykes called drystone walls - it is what the name implies - walls built of stone with no cement/adhesives. There a hundreds of miles of these walls going all over the fells and sometimes in what appears impossible places!

Ian
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Damien

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Re: Are uo a Volunteer?
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2008, 02:45:02 pm »

Unfortunately due to continuing health problems the only volunteering I can do is at the hospital. Every few months the hospital need volunteers who have health problems to be used by the specialists either before starting their career or before their final exams. Basically I go in to a consulting room and the doctors file in one by one and try and diagnose what I have. This can be a bit hard for them as I have about five differant ailments. I feel it is the least I can do after all the times the hospital as saved my life. I have done this for about four years.

Regards David
David, I'm in a similar position, each year since neurosurgery in 1994 for a pituitary tumor the size of a grapefruit, i get called in for use in 4th year Neurosurgery and Endocrinology exam hypothertical questions at Royal Melbourne Hospital.
I guess we all do our bit in some way.
Damien   
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Martin13

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Re: Are you a Volunteer?
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2008, 02:46:15 pm »

I used to be a volunteer fire marshall at Silverstone, I started as a novice marshall and over the years worked upto fire tender crew but that was only at the circuit.

What a lucky man and your concerned that it was only at Silverstone >>:-( Want to swap Volunteer jobs ;D Front row seat. Ahhh, remember many a great F1 race there but for me, in my lounge room chair back in Oz >>:-( >>:-(
I'll just keep on dreaming :)

martin doon under
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alan colson

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Re: Are you a Volunteer?
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2008, 05:50:27 pm »

Martin13
I worked at Silverstone from 1973 until 1983, my wife also worked there for 5 years as a volunteer on the startline, gridding up the cars into there correct positions, then during the race on the pitlane buzzer signalling when cars came into the pits duing a race, this was quite an important job during a GP or endurance race. We joined the British Motor Racing Marshalls Club and then volunteered for the meeting you wanted to do, but the more you did the more chance there was of you being selected for the GP. We used to go most weekends from March through until October each year. Great times, made many friends and met many drivers. You could meet the drivers during their early years in the sport before they made it into the big time. We met such greats as Arton Senna, Nelson Piquet, James Hunt, Derek Warwick, Jonathon Palmer and other during their Formula Ford and Formula 3 days.
Alan
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polonious

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Re: Are you a Volunteer?
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2008, 06:59:55 pm »

Hi Martin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                First time in print!. Yes I do volunteer work driving for the Hillingdon and Mount Vernon Hosp. trusts. There is about 16 of us (we are always short of drivers) that are sent to transport anybody that can't get to the hospitals under their own steam. It's a very rewarding job.  I get to hear stories about the early years of the patients lives ( I can usually get the conversations round to what line they were in).I have been on occasions very surprised when little old ladies that can hardly walk have told me that they were involved in,  (quote) The Berlin Air Lift, Bletchley Park, landlord at the Blind Begger. Olympic games medal winners, and director of a London Auction House to name but a few.
So anybody that lives in the Hillingdon area and has got some spare time, come and join us.
Polonious.
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Colin H

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Re: Are you a Volunteer?
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2008, 08:46:42 pm »

Many years ago when I was 11 stone not 17 stone I spent 4 years with the Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation.

The CRO's are all manned by sport caver's who go to help their own when they are in trouble.

I remember one particular incident when the person in trouble was a Canadian girl who had damaged her back. She was in great pain as we struggled to get her out and could she swear. The best bit was when her father arrived from Canada and after visiting her in hospital came to thank us by treating us to a fantastic PU.

Happy days Colin H.
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bigfella

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Re: Are uo a Volunteer?
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2008, 11:04:17 pm »

Unfortunately due to continuing health problems the only volunteering I can do is at the hospital. Every few months the hospital need volunteers who have health problems to be used by the specialists either before starting their career or before their final exams. Basically I go in to a consulting room and the doctors file in one by one and try and diagnose what I have. This can be a bit hard for them as I have about five differant ailments. I feel it is the least I can do after all the times the hospital as saved my life. I have done this for about four years.

Regards David
David, I'm in a similar position, each year since neurosurgery in 1994 for a pituitary tumor the size of a grapefruit, i get called in for use in 4th year Neurosurgery and Endocrinology exam hypothertical questions at Royal Melbourne Hospital.
I guess we all do our bit in some way.
Damien   

Hi Damien

Yeah I find it is probably the only way I can give something back to the Hospital. I mean it is only time and I have a lot of that these days. Besides where are they going to find a specimen like me who has every ailment {-) {-)

Regards David
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Martin13

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Re: Are you a Volunteer?
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2008, 11:55:18 pm »

Unfortunately due to continuing health problems the only volunteering I can do is at the hospital. Every few months the hospital need volunteers who have health problems to be used by the specialists either before starting their career or before their final exams. Basically I go in to a consulting room and the doctors file in one by one and try and diagnose what I have. This can be a bit hard for them as I have about five differant ailments. I feel it is the least I can do after all the times the hospital as saved my life. I have done this for about four years.

Regards David
David, I'm in a similar position, each year since neurosurgery in 1994 for a pituitary tumor the size of a grapefruit, i get called in for use in 4th year Neurosurgery and Endocrinology exam hypothertical questions at Royal Melbourne Hospital.
I guess we all do our bit in some way.
Damien   

Hi Damien

Yeah I find it is probably the only way I can give something back to the Hospital. I mean it is only time and I have a lot of that these days. Besides where are they going to find a specimen like me who has every ailment {-) {-)

Regards David

I've been down that trail about 20 years ago. Had 27 ops over a 10 year period on my left eye (childhood accident). Had to travel to Melbourne for most ops but on two occassions was sent to Adelaide to that Hospital/University, can't remember it's name.
I saw a Professor Coster, brilliant surgeon and so proud of his work that I had to stick my head in a machine whilst his students came in one at a time for a look see. I think he was good at Cross-Stitching ::) ::) ::)

Martin
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Martin13

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Re: Are you a Volunteer?
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2008, 12:05:53 am »

Hi Martin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                First time in print!. Yes I do volunteer work driving for the Hillingdon and Mount Vernon Hosp. trusts. There is about 16 of us (we are always short of drivers) that are sent to transport anybody that can't get to the hospitals under their own steam. It's a very rewarding job.  I get to hear stories about the early years of the patients lives ( I can usually get the conversations round to what line they were in).I have been on occasions very surprised when little old ladies that can hardly walk have told me that they were involved in,  (quote) The Berlin Air Lift, Bletchley Park, landlord at the Blind Begger. Olympic games medal winners, and director of a London Auction House to name but a few.
So anybody that lives in the Hillingdon area and has got some spare time, come and join us.
Polonious.

Polonious,

I can relate to your volunteer driving work although be it here in Australia. My father up until recently had to travel some distance to a hospital once a week. The Red Cross in Australia have Volunteer drivers that picked up dad, took him to hospital and then returned him home. Took best part of the day and mum and I were very, very grateful for the service provided...

Sir, you provide an invaluable service - keep up the good work...

Martin
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chingdevil

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Re: Are you a Volunteer?
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2008, 06:50:16 am »

I am a computer volunteer for the RNIB, we go into peoples houses who have sight problems and fix their PC's. I have stopped at the moment taking any work from the due to work commitments, but hope later in the year to start again. One of my relatives in Australia living near Gawler is a volunteer firefighter he injured his back while doing it, he is ok now and is still a volunteer.

Brian
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Joystick

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Re: Are you a Volunteer?
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2008, 06:57:41 pm »

I'm a Volunteer   O0

I work as artist and sculptor for a local ironstone mine, so people dont forget how it all started. When I'm not do art related things I help out with the up keep of of the property and can involve anything from mopping up to preparing the mine for visitors.
I enjoy what I do for them and give as much time as I can as It also helps my local village stay on the map. I have always enjoyed history and the services of a artist always comes in handy for a museum.. giving my bit to the village for my childrens benefit..
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