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Volunteer Community Educator Role

 

​There is an increasing awareness that timely and effective fire prevention and education saves lives and property. Fire prevention over fire suppression is a top priority, and for the Rural Fire Service (RFS), the key to this is Community Education.

The Volunteer Community Educator (VCE) role will be of great benefit to the RFS and Queensland communities. The key to the role is that VCEs will be local people delivering community education messages with the benefit of local knowledge and existing rapport with community members.

Hear from three current VCEs in the video clips below talking about the great work our VCEs do, who makes a good VCE, the support offered and how much time you give in the role. Select the required video and push the play button.

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The Role

The VCE role is a non-operational role dedicated to providing bushfire and fire safety education.  VCE’s deliver PREPARE.ACT.SURVIVE, Property Advice, Fire Ed, Smoke Alarm Education, information on the Fire Warden and Permit to Light Fire system and assisting in the development and implementation of Bushfire Action Plans.

VCEs will not only present a range of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) community education programs to the public in the lead up to fire season, but also provide information to their community during and after an incident. Existing operational volunteers can take on this role, however if there is a major incident where community information needs to be provided the role of VCE must take priority in this situation.

VCEs and Rural Fire Brigades

VCEs must be a member of a rural fire brigade. For existing volunteers moving across to the role this is straight forward. For new people looking to take on the role they must first join their local fire brigade. 

The VCE role is an integral part of the RFS structure and it is essential they become part of, and are supported by, local rural fire brigades. Many volunteers who take on this role will be existing volunteers with years of service, experience and knowledge in relation to fire behaviour and prevention.

For new volunteers coming into the role, they will at first, need to be supported by operational members of the brigade.

It is important to note that whether you are an existing or new volunteer, to become a VCE you need to undergo a Criminal History Check if you have not already done so in the past three months.

Supporting VCEs

Anyone choosing to take on the role of a VCE will be provided with a range of training to assist them in the role.

The training provided requires a minimal time commitment, but will provide you with the knowledge you require to present QFES programs, and the skills you need to be a successful community educator. Training would include a range of pre-reading activities, then a one day training course at your Area Office.

VCEs will also receive ongoing support through their brigade and local RFS Area Office. Resources such as educational and promotional material, as well as access to laptops, projectors and more will are available through your local area office. VCEs will also receive the QFES Volunteer Uniform and a comprehensive resource kit.

There are two categories of Educators. The VCE and the VCE Area Coordinator. The Area Coordinator coordinates, monitors and assists in the presentation of education programs to communities. They provide ongoing support and training to VCEs and collect feedback and data from the presentations to provide to the Bushfire Safety Officer (BSO) Brigade Training and Support Officer (BTSO). 

VCE and Me

To take on the role of a VCE you need to be a positive, community minded person who is comfortable presenting in front of small and large groups of people and you need to be willing to develop the skills required to take on the role.

The VCE role is an excellent opportunity for existing RFS volunteers who feel they may want to move out of an operational role and into other areas. The role is a great way for volunteers to contribute to community safety and continue their close involvement with community members and groups, without the physical demands of fighting fires.

Applications

To take on the role of a VCE you need to be a positive, community minded person who is comfortable presenting in front of small and large groups of people and you need to be willing to develop the skills required to take on the role.

The VCE role is an excellent opportunity for existing RFS volunteers who feel they may want to move out of an operational role and into other areas. The role provides a great way for volunteers to contribute to community safety and continue their close involvement with community members and groups, without the physical demands of fighting fires.

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