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Supporting our volunteers

Emergency service volunteers play a vital role in the South Australian community. There are over 14,000 dedicated South Australians who add to the social capital of our community because they are willing to protect their community in times of natural disasters and emergencies.

SAFECOM has developed the Volunteer and Employer Recognition and Support Program (VERSP) that formally recognises and rewards the passion and commitment of emergency services volunteers and their employers.

Emergency services volunteers are supported by their committed employers who make it possible for them to leave their places of work at short notice in service of their communities. Employers who take a socially responsible approach to volunteers contribute to the fabric and resilience of their communities and make an enormous contribution to the success of our emergency services.

The concept of VERSP can best be thought of through a framework of the four 'R's as high-level strategies that the objectives of the program feed into:

  1. Recognising the role of volunteers by linking in with existing award and recognition programs.
  2. Raising volunteers' profile through a number of activities and events including state-wide media campaigns as well as local events where appropriate.
  3. Recruitment by engaging in activities that promotes the recruitment of new volunteers and employers into emergency services through raising their profile and promoting emergency services as the preferred volunteering option and a worthy cause for employers to support.
  4. Retention through events and activities that are designed to raise the profile and recognise volunteers and employers. Along with the recruitment strategy, both volunteers and their employers will become more engaged in the Emergency Services Sector, and through networking, become more connected.

Activities conducted as part of the VERSP program include:

  • Compilation of a database of details of supportive employers nominated by volunteers
  • Presentation of Certificates of Recognition for employers and self-employed volunteers
  • Promotional material for employers to display in recognition of their involvement with the emergency services

For more information for volunteers and employers see the Employing emergency service volunteers booklet