15 March 2021: Council is recruiting a new type of volunteer from each township and community to harness on-the-ground knowledge and existing leadership skills to improve disaster communications.
Council is recruiting a new type of volunteer from each township and community to harness on-the-ground knowledge and existing leadership skills to improve communications before, during and after a disaster event.
The goal of the Community Disaster Volunteer project is to build greater community resilience by engaging, training and supporting local leaders to advocate for the unique resources needed by their townships.
As well-connected people and representatives of organisations already embedded in their communities, Community Disaster Volunteers will be the key contact with Council and the Scenic Rim Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) during all three stages: preparedness, disaster response and recovery activities.
As Mayor and Chair of Scenic Rim LDMG Greg Christensen said natural disasters like floods and bushfires can escalate with very little warning and having trained volunteers on-the-ground who can provide and disseminate updated and relevant information is invaluable.
"Each community responds in a slightly different way and we want to better understand the strengths and vulnerabilities of each community. To do that we need locals with lived experience and connections to the people-power and facilities that already exist in their towns," he said.
Experienced SES volunteer and Deputy Chair of the Scenic Rim LDMG Councillor Jeff McConnell said Council wasn't expecting people to wear two hats.
"To avoid burn-out and conflicting demands, these new volunteer roles are communication focused and designed to support those who already work or volunteer in disaster management roles like the Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service, Queensland Ambulance Service and Council," Cr McConnell said.
"The appointment of Community Disaster Volunteers will be the crucial link between informal, community-driven activities and formal disaster management activities so our response is timely and coordinated, especially for isolated communities."
The first activity for the Community Disaster Volunteers will be to co-design Local Disaster Information Guides. The tailored guides will include information on potential natural hazards, evacuation routes, local services, communication methods, community response, resupply and relevant points of interest specific to each community.
For more information please download Council's Community Disaster Volunteers Fact Sheet.
To apply please download Council's Volunteer Application Form and return by mid-May 2021.