Sussex volunteer firefighter awarded

Sussex Volunteer Fire Brigade firefighter Graham Bailey first volunteered as a firefigher in the Wheatbelt when in 1974 aged 19 years old.
Sussex Volunteer Fire Brigade firefighter Graham Bailey first volunteered as a firefigher in the Wheatbelt when in 1974 aged 19 years old.

VETERAN volunteer firefighter Graham Bailey was awarded for his 25 years of service volunteering with fire brigade services in WA.

Mr Bailey received his award from the minister for seniors and volunteering Tony Simpson at a at a medal ceremony in Perth on Wednesday.

Now with the Sussex Volunteer Fire Brigade, Mr Bailey said he first volunteered in 1974 aged 19 years old when he lived in the Wheatbelt.

He said being a volunteer in the Wheatbelt was something people “just did” and was involved in setting up agricultural shows and repertory clubs. 

The opportunity to give back to the community was the most rewarding part of being a volunteer for Mr Bailey.

“The community gives a lot to us in terms of the things it puts on like events and shows and bringing tourist attractions into town,” he said.

Over the years, Mr Bailey said the volunteer service had changed for the better and being a volunteer firefighter had become a lot more professional.

“They support the volunteers much more,” he said.

Mr Bailey said his brigade often got called to the big fires and they always managed to get a crew nearly every time they were required. 

“Over the years it has been heartbreaking to see the animals getting hurt I do not like to see that or the total destruction that a bushfire can do,” he said. 

The WA Volunteer Service Awards program recognised WA volunteers who have provided 25 or more and 50 or more years of service to one organisation. 

In WA, four out of five adults volunteer every year with 5,000 organisations.

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