Small-scale community engagement
There are over 230 volunteer brigades in Tasmania.
Some are large, with active members who are interested in community engagement, while others are quite small with limited resources and little member support. But no matter what the dynamics of your brigade, even if it is just you, or one or two members, there are still ways you can engage effectively with your local community.
It is fantastic when we get great public response to community engagement events, and some brigades are coming up with exciting and innovative ideas, but it is not always feasible to organise and coordinate large events. So, whether you are a small brigade, or a larger brigade between events, what are some opportunities where you can pass on the bushfire-ready message?
- Join an event – if your local area hosts annual events such as an agricultural show, approach the organisers and offer to set up a community engagement fire information booth. Or simply pop on your uniform, grab some brochures and hang out at the weekly community market for an hour or so and chat with the locals.
- Value-add – community members who contact your brigade about burn-offs offer a great opportunity to value-add. These community members are already engaged and aware of fire risk, so they might be open to inviting you back to undertake a property assessment or perhaps host a Bushfire-Ready Neighbourhood event.
- Be visible – whether it is through regularly updating your brigade social media or a pop-up community event in the carpark of the local supermarket, be visible. Get the community used to seeing you around so they feel comfortable about approaching you and seeking advice.
- Run a property assessment – a popular event with community members is a property assessment. Most property owners want to learn how to better preparef their property to survive a bushfire event. If you are struggling to secure hosts for a property assessment, try asking your neighbours, family and friends if they are interested, or your brigade could host the event and hold a property assessment at the station.
Large brigade or small, we can all make a difference. Seize every opportunity and have fun doing it.
Grove Volunteer Fire Brigade
Date: Friday, July 9, 2021