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Thursday, 05 December 2019 11:33

Young Boort CFA volunteer jumps from school into the fire zone

Young Boort CFA volunteer Mitch Baker has jumped straight from the frying pan of VCE exams into the devastating fires in New South Wales.

Fresh from completing his final VCE exam, Mitch, 18, joined about 70 volunteers from around Victoria in the latest strike team to battle the massive fires.

Overall hundreds of Victorian volunteers have travelled to NSW and Queensland in a huge mobilisation of support.

Mitch has been a Boort brigade member for more than two years and communications officer for the past year while continuing his school studies.

“I had my last exam the previous Thursday and then flew out the next Tuesday,” he said.

Although still a teenager, Mitch says he’s well trained and prepared for the major fire zone.

“I’ve been to a few fires locally but nothing of this magnitude but we’re all well trained and know what to do and how to take direction,” he said.

This was Mitch’s first strike team and he was pleased to add to the huge CFA volunteer surge capacity. “When you look at the news and see how bad it is, you just want to go and help the people,” he said. “It’s good to chip in and do your bit.”

Mitch hopes to study cyber security at Deakin University Geelong next year.

Boort brigade secretary Russel Talbot and fellow member Mark Minogue were among those flying to NSW on Wednesday afternoon.

Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) CEO Adam Barnett said the commitment of experienced and new members contributed to the CFA’s amazing surge capacity when major disasters happen.

“Our volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and make an incredible contribution both locally and far afield when needed,” Mr Barnett said.

“What makes our CFA so special is its connection with our communities and the fact that we have well-trained and capable people ready to drop everything and help in times of crisis,” he said.

“We expect to have a long and challenging season ahead of us and hope these latest fires inspire more young people to consider joining their local CFA.”

Learn more about CFA’s world-respected surge capacity on the VFBV website.

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CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.