If you are community minded and enjoy a challenge, make a difference and volunteer with the Rural Fire Brigade or the SES in 2014.

With bushfires a serious concern at this time of year, volunteers play an important role in fighting and protecting all Australians.

Along with your other New Year’s resolutions, like getting in shape or quitting smoking, you could get involved with volunteering for Queensland’s emergency services.

Acting Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Andrew Powell has urged any Queenslanders looking for a meaningful New Year’s resolution to consider becoming an emergency services volunteer.

“Our volunteers are the backbone of the emergency services community, which is why our government is so committed to strengthening Queensland’s frontline,” Mr Powell said.

If you want to get more involved in your community and want to make a difference in 2014, become an everyday hero.

“Emergency services volunteers are everyday heroes who dedicate themselves to protecting the lives and property of their fellow Queenslanders,” Mr Powell said.

Volunteering is not just reserved for frontline operations there are behind the scenes roles that keep the State Emergency Service (SES) and Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) operating year-round.

“Volunteer firefighters not only battle bushfires; they also deliver essential educational workshops and hazard mitigation programs and have the opportunity to undergo training and advancement opportunities,” Mr Powell said.

SES volunteers play a huge role in aiding communities after natural disasters and are always looking for new volunteers.

“As an SES volunteer, you could find yourself working in all kinds of weather to assist vulnerable members of the community during and after storms, cyclones and floods”

Mr Powel explained there were other aspects to being and SES volunteer as well.

“You could also work to assist police in the search for a missing person, provide traffic control at an emergency incident, travel in flood boats to rescue a stranded person or drop supplies to people cut off in the wet season or conduct a public education display at your local show, or shopping centre.”

All SES training is provided free of charge.

For information on joining the Rural Fire Service Queensland head to www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au

For more information on becoming an SES volunteer, phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or visit www.emergency.qld.gov.au/ses