When things go 'boom', boomers get going

Anyone with time to sit about denigrating another generation really needs to take a good hard look at the faces of the current bushfire crisis in NSW.

When a young person joins a volunteer emergency service such as the Rural Fire Service, the State Emergency Service, the VRA or Marine Rescue they are welcomed with open arms.

Single-handed, such a young person can dramatically bring down the average age of their brigade or unit.

That's great, but does not change the fact that volunteers are an overwhelmingly grey-haired breed - and we rely on them in so many important areas of our lives.

As every regional media outlet knows, our volunteer services and clubs are overwhelmingly supported by older bodies and faces. We know because they approach us regularly to support urgent recruitment drives.

With so much heart, they are on fire grounds all over the state, putting out spot fires, protecting properties from ember attack, making food and refreshments for crews, running radio rooms.

They are heading out into strong winds to remove fallen trees from homes, cars and road, to secure properties and keep people safe.

They are launching rescue vessels in bad weather to bring stricken boaters back to shore.

When they are not risking their lives, they are raising funds for their brigades or units, running training courses for other volunteers, educating the public - and, yes, running recruitment drives.

Yes, retirees have more time and in some cases disposable income to allow them to volunteer - but let's say thanks anyway.

One generation blaming another always looks silly, whatever quarter it comes from.

If you have time to bitch, you have time to volunteer - whatever generation you come from.

Some people have neither time to bitch nor volunteer.

No-one is downplaying the pressure on two people trying to work fulltime to pay a mortgage in a tough housing market, whilst being good parents.

As climate change threatens increasing extreme weather events, we may need to reconsider how we fund and staff the emergency services we rely upon.

Let's have that conversation - and drop the mindless inter-generational blame game.

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