With the fire danger period starting on Monday, December 6, fire brigades are looking to ensure they have enough personnel on hand to best serve the community.
The departure and retirement of several firefighters means Country Fire Authority (CFA) units like the Maiden Gully Fire Brigade are on the lookout for fresh volunteers.
Brigade treasurer Andrew Howlett said the brigade has been unable to recruit in recent times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have 26 operational firefighters now and one in training," Mr Howlett said.
"Normally we would have around 30 operational firefighters."
The brigade has about 15 support members comprising mainly spouses and retired firefighters helping with maintenance and fundraising activities.
Mr Howlett said anyone over the age of 16 could join the brigade.
"They need to live in Maiden Gully so they're close to the fire station for logistical reasons," he said.
"We would particularly like to welcome anyone who has some availability during normal work hours such as working from home, being part time, doing shift work or are a student.
"Like other CFA brigades we struggle with that daytime situation."
Maiden Gully Fire Brigade has been serving the community since 1998 and usually attends to about 50 call-outs a year.
"Our call-outs would be more vehicle accidents and vehicle fires and structural fires in an average season," Mr Howlett said.
"We've had an increase in the number of calls from neighbouring areas because we have an increased capacity with a bigger range of trucks.
"Call-outs are two brigade responders so we support Eaglehawk. We go to Marong because they don't have a pumper but we do."
Mr Howlett said the brigade had already received some interest in its recruiting campaign and encouraged a group of volunteers to train together at the one time to build up a good rapport.
Training and protective clothing are provided. Volunteer firefighters not only train and fight fires, but also become involved with administration, maintenance, community education and some fundraising.
Anyone interested in joining the Maiden Gully Fire Brigade is welcome to attend a special information evening on Thursday, December 9 at 7.30pm at the Maiden Gully Fire Station in Beckhams Road.
For more information, go to maidengullycfa.org.au or find the brigade on Facebook.
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