– Do you enjoy spending time in the outdoors?
– Do you have a passion for conservation?
– Can you function as part of a team?
– Do you want to assist your local community?
– Do you have spare time to commit to a volunteer organisation?
– Do you want to meet new, similar-minded people from all walks of life?
If you have answered yes to more than a few of the above questions, why not consider volunteering for Volunteer Wildfire Services?
Every March / April the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) opens up our doors for new volunteers, this allows us to ensure that the prerequisite training is completed during the winter months and that both our new members and existing alike have had the opportunity to both refresh and learn critical skills in order to keep them safe on the fire line.
We are looking for individuals who are interested in fulfilling one or more of the below roles:
Most have day jobs, some are students, others run their own companies – but all are dedicated, motivated and highly-trained to ensure that our ultimate goal of wildfire suppression is taken care of.
PLANNING & CONTROL
The men and women without whom our firefighters would be ineffective. This team helps manage fires from behind the scenes, filling specific Incident command system positions or manning a formal control room.
DRIVERS & LOGISTICS
The engine room of the VWS. These members keep things running smoothly, tools are sharp and make sure our crews get to the fires quickly, safely and are looked after when they get back to base.
FUNDRAISING & EVENTS
Fundraising and events focus on the task of raising much-needed sponsorships and creating awareness of the organisation’s mission to the greater public. All members are expected to attend events.
Who can volunteer with VWS?
Anyone can volunteer, provided that you:
- are at least 18 years of age
- are medically fit
- have regular email and cellphone access
- and have reliable transport to one of our bases
Where is the VWS based?
VWS is based in the Western Cape, with four stations located at:
- Newlands (Cape Town)
- South Peninsula (Sun Valley, Cape Town)
- Jonkershoek (Stellenbosch)
Please note: The VWS is a volunteer organisation. As such, we do not pay any salaries, wages, or stipends for your time volunteered with us.
Qualifications and Experience
You don’t need any qualifications or prior experience. We will provide all the training required for you to fulfil your preferred role.
However, being an outdoors person who enjoys hiking will be an asset to becoming a volunteer wildland firefighter. What we do is physically demanding and can involve quite a bit of hiking with packs, as we are generally deployed away from roads.
For those who would like to just help behind the scene, with events or fundraising, this is not needed, just a passion to help the community and support the work of the firefighters.
The Next Steps in Recruitment
You will need to attend a mandatory recruitment Information Session (there are a few dates available, but you only need to attend one – it can be at any VWS station). Dates, times and venues are listed below.
Once you have attended an Information Session and completed an application form (available only after attending an Information Session), you will undergo training in the Winter months or become part of our event and fundraising team.
This involves skills and fitness training in the form of hikes and scenarios. You will need to complete a compulsory orientation, training sessions and a full weekend theory course to qualify with us as an active firefighter. Those wishing to do other roles like drivers or logistics have lesser requirements.
Further information about training, fire season and all the other requirements of joining will be available at the information meetings which will take place in April 2019. Experienced members will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.