Media releases: 22 March 2022
First responder organisations encouraged to apply for funding to strengthen their emergency response capabilities
FRRR is encouraging eligible groups to apply to its Volunteer Emergency Services Fund (VESF) program to support local volunteer emergency services groups and first responder organisations in communities affected by the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires.
Thanks to the generous contribution of a private donor, grants of up to $25,000 are available to strengthen local emergency response capabilities, based on identified community need and priorities, including to support volunteers’ wellbeing and mental health.
The VESF grants are available to local volunteer emergency services groups and first responder organisations in eligible fire-affected communities across the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.
Danielle Griffin, FRRR’s Philanthropic Services Manager – Corporate, said that funding from this grant program had already provided much-needed support, funding 54 projects across 66 communities.
“We have seen local groups upgrade their equipment and infrastructure, improve their service to communities and enhance support for their volunteers.
“This funding is a timely reminder that these communities need continued support and investment. The funding will contribute to remote, rural and regional communities’ confidence in the capacity and capability of their local volunteer first responder and emergency services groups to implement solutions for adapting to changing conditions and planning for future disasters. The volunteers themselves are critical to these outcomes and we encourage projects that build not only the skills of this unpaid workforce but wellbeing support to sustain their efforts.
“Many of these communities have endured multiple disasters in recent years, including the current floods. We encourage any groups impacted by the Black Summer fires who are also affected by recent flooding to get in touch and discuss their needs so we can support applications being developed in these difficult conditions,” Ms Griffin said.
The VESF grant program is now open. Applications close 5pm AEST 28 April 2022, with grants to be announced in July 2022. You can find out more about the program at: https://frrr.org.au/volunteer-emergency-services-fund-grant-program/