Bulahdelah Rescue Service in need of volunteers

Bulahdelah Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) is in danger of closing after 36 years of operation.

With only four accredited members remaining, there are simply not enough volunteers to attend emergency call-outs.

VRA volunteers Graham Chapman and Peter Mostyn desperately seeking new members.

Bulahdelah Volunteer Rescue Association Commander Mr Peter Mostyn, said if the VRA closes, call-outs would be attended by other services, although many in the area are also struggling.

“If the VRA creases operations, call-outs would be attended by Forster or Tea Gardens Fire and Rescue Services taking longer for crews to arrive at accident scenes,” he said.

“Lack of volunteers is an issue in the area with both Tea Gardens and Bulahdelah Rural Fire Services struggling for members while Nabiac SES ceased operating over 12 months ago due to a lack of numbers.”

Until recently, the VRA attended an average of one rescue a week, with up to three call-outs in a night. 

As a result of improved highway conditions, call-outs are less frequent, however a full team is still needed for emergency call-outs when required.  

Mr Mostyn said although they currently have five trainees, recruiting new members has become more difficult.

“It would be good to have enough members for full teams, but Bulahdelah’s aging population means new volunteers are hard to come by,” he said.

“With fewer call-outs as a result of improved highway conditions, some people consider training useless.”

Bulahdelah VRA Treasurer, Mr Graham Chapman, who was part of the original founding group in 1980, said the VRA had between 28-33 members during its early years of operation.

“Most of our members were police and ambulance officers,” Mr Chapman said.

“But with changes to Legislation, it was considered to be a conflict of interest and numbers dropped sharply.”

Mr Mostyn said without more volunteers the service will cease operating in the very near future.

“New members are essential to keep this vital service going,” he said.

The Bulahdelah VRA meet every Tuesday night from 7-9pm at the VRA shed in Harold Street, Bulahdelah.

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