CFS volunteer Brian Harkness

IT doesn’t take much to be a volunteer, according to long-serving Country Fire Service (CFS) member Brian Harkness who says volunteering has brought him some great friendships and experiences.

Mr Harkness said he initially joined the CFS when he moved to Cummins, as a way to meet people and when he moved to Cleve he decided to continue with the CFS.

He said he found the time and effort when volunteering had brought him many new skills and an amazing amount of rewards.

“Volunteering with the CFS has given me confidence in handling pressure situations.

“I have to make decisions which can affect someone or something,” he said.

Mr Harkness said volunteering with the CFS was his way of giving back to the community. 

“Being on the CFS is my service to our community, like a Lions Club or Apex, this is what I do and one day it could be me that needs some help,” he said.

Mr Harkness has been a volunteer with the Cleve CFS for more than 20 years and is the brigade’s captain. 

“We have a good group under Triggy (Eastern Eyre group officer Bryan Trigg) and we have had lots of reward, such as helping save a few houses.

Volunteering with the CFS has given me confidence in handling pressure situations.

Cleve CFS captain Brian Harkness

“The expression on people’s faces is great when you protect them and their property,” he said. 

While some people may say it is too hard to volunteer, Mr Harkness said it was not hard to find a little bit of time each week or month to give back to his area.

“It’s not a lot of time commitment in the CFS, unless you have a big fire, and volunteering makes a community work. 

“It is manageable to work and volunteer, you just have to find the right thing for you.” 

Mr Harkness said his employer, Landmark Cleve, supported his commitment to the CFS and his efforts. 

“My boss has no qualms about my volunteering.

“If I can go to a fire, I go, or if no one is in the shop I don’t go. 

“It’s a community thing to volunteer and every town has groups that need people of all ages and skills to come along and help out.

“It’s a great thing to do and it brings so much to you and to the people in your district,” Mr Harkness said.