QFES banks on new partnership to support rural fire service volunteers

Published Thursday, 21 October, 2021 at 11:30 AM

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and the National Australian Bank (NAB) have teamed up to support the wellbeing of Rural Fire Service volunteers. 

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan MP announced today the new Supporting Partnership agreement between NAB and the Rural Fire Service (RFS). 

“Both the Queensland Government and NAB share similar values when it comes to supporting RFS volunteers as they serve their communities before, during and after a natural disaster and other events,” Mr Ryan said. 

“This partnership will support the wellbeing of RFS volunteers with practical personal resilience tools and other supports. 

Mr Ryan said the partnership would deliver two new programs, worth more than $300,000, including the RFS Volunteer Wellbeing Project. 

“The RFS Volunteer Wellbeing Project will provide online mindfulness and resilience tools to volunteers that will increase the likelihood of early intervention and encourage help-seeking initiatives,” he said. 

“The RFS Volunteer Wellbeing Project recognises this and provides online mindfulness and resilience tools to volunteers that will increase the likelihood of early intervention and encourage help-seeking behaviours,” he said.

“This is an important program to support the health and safety of our RFS volunteers, which in turn will benefit Queensland communities.”

QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said the vision for the partnership was to establish a relationship based on the shared values and objectives of both organisations.

“From bushfires to floods, Queensland is the most disaster-prone state and we all need to be prepared for whatever we could be faced with,” he said.

“This partnership recognises the important role our RFS volunteers play in their communities particularly during natural disasters, when they are needed most.”

Mr Leach said as well as the RFS Volunteer Wellbeing Project, the partnership would also support the NAB Community Strategy Challenge.

“This project will see NAB employees work with the RFS to improve the onboarding process for new volunteers.

“Bringing business acumen to our onboarding process I am sure will pay dividends,” he said.

NAB Chief Executive Officer Ross McEwan said the bank’s role went beyond supporting the recovery from natural disasters: it was also the bank’s job to help Australians get ready for future natural disasters.

“Floods, fires and cyclones have torn apart communities and left many Australians to put the pieces of their lives back together afterwards,” Mr McEwan said.

“That includes many of our customers and the businesses we support.

“These disasters are only going to come more often, based on forecasts.

“As a bank that is here to serve customers well and help our communities prosper, we must help. The RFS is at the coalface fighting these challenges, which is why we are backing them.

“NAB is here to support Australians before, during and after natural disasters. We are also here to support our 30,000 colleagues, many of whom give their time and talents to community and emergency service organisations such as the RFS in Queensland.” 

Media contacts  

Minister Ryan’s Office: Ph: (07) 3035 8300

QFES Media: (07) 3635 3310