NSW rural fire brigade seeks crowdfunding to buy face masks for volunteers | 7NEWS.com.au
As NSW firefighters continue to battle unprecedented bushfires, a small community on the Central Coast has turned to crowdfunding – to buy desperately needed face masks for rural volunteers.
The grassroots campaign follows comments on Tuesday by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that Rural Fire Service volunteers “want to be out there”, and dismissed the idea of them being paid for their services.
About 2700 firefighters are tackling 85 fires in NSW, 42 of which are uncontrolled.
NSW Labor has accused the government of budget cuts to the RFS, but the government has rejected claims of cuts.
Now, the treasurer of a small rural brigade on the NSW Central Coast is seeking public funding to help buy protective masks being worn by volunteer firefighters.
In a now-deleted Facebook post, Joe Arena, the treasurer of Copacabana Rural Fire Brigade, has urged crowd-funded donations.
“The Copacabana Rural Fire Brigade has been manning 3 trucks on rotating shifts for the last 2 weeks to fight the Hawkesbury & Central Coast sections of the Mega Fire, while also sending members north over the last 3 months,” he wrote.
“Our brigade has been desperately trying to protect homes and property – completely exhausted – and I’m horrified to say this, using RFS-issued dust masks to protect our airways.
“In defence of the RFS, these are unprecedented conditions, on a scale no one could have anticipated, but we have no choice but to go out and fight fire with what we have.”
He said the rural brigade is raising funds so they “can purchase and maintain P3 Masks, similar to these – Promask Twin Full Face Respirator Readypak.”
The team hopes to raise enough money to buy “one for every seat on our heavily used bush trucks”.
In the video below, smoke haze lingers over Sydney.
A smoke haze is lingering over Sydney after one of the city’s worst ever days for air quality.
This content was originally published here.