WE NEED MORE FIREFIGHTERS Expert says we need to 'double' number of firefighters; An expert estimates we need to double the number of firefighters to avoid 'disaster' in the future.


Byline: Jasmine Burke Jasmine.Burke@northernstar.com.au

IF AUSTRALIA'S number of firefighters doesn't double into the future it will be "a recipe for disaster", experts say.

Australian Firefighters Climate Alliance spokesperson, Paul Gray, said one of the biggest long-term issues facing Australia in bushfire season is there's just not enough crews, be it volunteer or full time.

Mr Gray said a study released around 2013 which predicted most of the professional and volunteer fire brigades would need to essentially look at doubling their workforce in many high risk areas within the 15 to 20 years was "not ambitious".

But, he said, no numbers of that kind were coming to fruition.

"We're not seeing anything like those sort of numbers being able to be recruited and retained. If anything, where we're struggling to keep people within the volunteer ranks."

Mr Gray said fatigue was a major issue for many, especially in the volunteer sphere or the ageing workforce.

"You get a few big seasons like this, it's often the same people that are responding to these incidents that have to turn around as soon as the rain starts falling and start responding to floods and swift waters," he said.

"It's quite often the...

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