Each day for QRFS volunteer Dave Morton can be different, he could be run off his feet fighting fires or busy training the next generation of fire fighters.
This week Dave was awarded the Queensland Rural Fire Service North Coast Regional Volunteer of the Year, an award he was honoured to accept.
Dave is a devoted member of Bungadoo Rural Fire Brigade, he wears many hats, and his roles include first officer, treasurer and local fire warden.
Dave’s dedication, courage and commitment to protecting properties from fire in the Bundaberg Region started in 2012, after he had seen first-hand the strength behind the community lead organisation.
“I was very impressed at the level of organisation behind such small community groups,” Dave said.
“Billie (Dave’s wife) and I moved to Australia from Canada and left all of family behind, and the Rural Fire Service here is just like one big family, and we found that comforting, and we joined together.”
As a QRFS volunteer Dave said there were many moments battling fires in the Bundaberg Region that he wouldn’t forget but knowing he and fellow firefighters had accomplished their goal to protect people and their property was what mattered most.
“I have really enjoy looking back at the end of the day and knowing we had some challenges and there had been some difficult situations and we met all of these, so it’s a great feeling knowing that accomplishment,” he said.
Dave recalled a time in the middle of a busy fire season when he was called to respond to one fire after another in the heat of the day.
“One day in 2018 I was out at five different situations, you never know at the start of the day what the end will look like,” he said.
“Some fires can be pretty crappy – the weather can change in an instant.
“And that’s why it is important for the teams to all work well together, and I think we do that.”
The 63-year-old said it was important to always go in to each fire season with properties in mind, and it was a full-time job preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.
He said it was the moments after they had fought fires when the rewarding times happened.
“The thank you from members of the community is the biggest reward you could ask for,” Dave said.
“We are always struggling for volunteers, we only have so many people and we can be very busy.”
Dave said he was humbled to be nominated for the Queensland Rural Fire Service North Coast Regional Volunteer of the Year and receiving the award was a great honour.
He said anyone interested in joining the Queensland Rural Fire Service could find out more information here.
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