Coverage for WA bushfire volunteers at regional checkpoints Back

​Some WA bushfire volunteers are currently helping police enforce regional checkpoints.

They may also be called upon to help with other critical services, including working as ambulance drivers, delivering meals on wheels and helping with paramedic services.

These duties while appreciated by frontline staff are outside of the usual job description of a bushfire volunteer.

LGIS takes the view that the bushfire volunteers staffing regional checkpoints and taking part in other frontline duties have no coverage under current Scheme insurance if they are injured or if they contract Covid-19 as part of these new roles.

This is because the FESA act of 1998 clearly specifies which duties the Scheme covers.

These include fighting fires, training and parade duties.

However, this does not mean bushfire volunteers helping at regional checkpoints or working in new roles are unprotected.

Volunteers helping police at a roadblock at the Nanutarra Roadhouse. 

There are volunteer personal accident policies provided by councils that cover volunteers.

However, every local government has different levels of cover so the benefits vary between councils.

WA Police also potentially have coverage for volunteers.

SES volunteers are covered under the State's risk cover and this potentially applies to bushfire volunteers at regional checkpoints.

The Bushfire Volunteers Association has advised volunteers who have a high risk of contracting Covid-19 to decline regional checkpoint roles.

For the safety of bushfire volunteers, they have also insisted they only be used at roadblocks where police are present.

Currently, the association is also lobbying the State Government to ask that these volunteers are included in legislation protecting other public officers working in Covid-19 response roles.