Recent media reports have outlined the requirement for our volunteer firefighters to apply for Blue Cards. Since changes were made to the Working with Children Act 2000 last year, it is now law that all RFS volunteers from 18 years of age must hold a Blue Card. This is because the RFS accepts junior volunteers from the age of 16 years. The RFS states that ‘Having a criminal history does not automatically exclude you from joining a Brigade and that consideration will be given to the offence and the circumstances surrounding it prior to a final decision being made’. In having spoken with our local volunteers, the main issue for those that originally were not supportive of this law change, was the aspect of privacy, however our crews are now all ‘carded’. As we saw during our recent fires, our RFS do an incredible job, and were frequently deployed to areas of greatest need. This flexibility remains an integral part of their firefighting abilities, and we have been assured that the current concerns, including deadlines, will not impact the vital service our local ‘firies’ provide. For more information on who can and cannot apply for a Blue Card, please go to: If you would like more information on becoming a part of the RFS team (and we need you!), head to: