August 19, 2013
While the positive impact that many grey nomads have in the communities where they travel has been well documented, there is a flip side to the equation.
While experienced travellers are spending money and volunteering their time and expertise at various nomad destinations, it seems their input is being missed in their home states.
Bruny Island is Tasmania’s south is perhaps one for the more dramatic examples of the void that older travellers can leave in a community when they load up the rig and hit the high road.
A large proportion of the island’s emergency services volunteers reportedly disappear to warmer climes in winter leaving those that remain decidedly short-handed,
Bruny Island’s ambulance, fire and state emergency services are entirely run and staffed by volunteers … and .this year volunteer numbers have reportedly dropped from eight to three, with the average age being 70.
The island’s SES coordinator Kane McLeod tod the ABC that the problem is not just limited to Bruny.
“I’ve been talking to them over on the other side and across the southern region and they’re having troubles as well,” he said. “When we actually get here it’s like: you be the ambo today, I’ll be the SES and you be the fire brigade and off we go.”
Emergency services are holding a recruitment drive later this month to try to attract more volunteers.
Do you volunteer your services as you travel? Do you volunteer your services in your home state? Comment below.