In 1862, the Government of Western Australia imported a manual fire engine that was placed under the control of the Pensioners (Militia) at the Barracks on St Georges Terrace.The first official fire brigade in Western Australia was the volunteer fire brigade established at Fremantle on the 20th October 1885; (Perth had approved a volunteer fire brigade in 1884, but were slow to progress). The influx of men from eastern colonies in search of gold saw the development of fire brigades throughout country areas of WA during the 1890’s.
These brigades were obviously volunteer fire brigades because the then Government could not afford to employ people as firefighters throughout these country areas.
Nothing has changed. Today, as in the past, Governments cannot afford to employ career firefighters from Kununurra to Esperance.
The Western Australian Volunteer Fire Brigades Association (as it was then known) was formed April 1898, to provide a single voice on behalf of the to ensure that WA maintains and continually develops its Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Brigades.
We support and encourage the progress of Fire and Rescue Service volunteer Brigade members and their Brigades through representation; promote the fitness and discipline of volunteer firefighters and the improvement of firefighting skills through competitions; and develop a community understanding, knowledge and respect for the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service.
The Association provides representation to over 90 Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Brigades from Kununurra to Esperance to Kalgoorlie – including 5 private Brigades – Leinster, Paraburdoo, Pannawonica, Tom Price and Murrin Murrin.