As fires raged across the country last summer during what was one of the worst fire seasonsAustralia had ever faced, South West brigades were swamped with requests from locals wanting to join. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, all recruitment drives and training programs came to a grinding halt. This week —following the State entering Phase 3 of its coronavirus recovery plan — the Bunbury Volunteer Bushfire Brigade is finally getting back into the swing of things, with their cadet program starting up once more. “Our cadet program didn’t even get started,” captain Terri Kowal said. The program — which covers basic firefighting skills, teamwork, leadership and communication skills — runs fortnightly, and Capt. Kowal encouraged anyone interested to get in touch. “It teaches them life skills — to have that discipline, belief and confidence in themselves,” she said. Adult training is also back on the cards, with the first session set for next Wednesday. Messages have also been sent to those who expressed interest over summer to get involved and trained up before the next fire season. “It’s good to keep brushing up on your skills, I’ve been doing this for over 25 years and I still find it important to brush up on my skills — you can’t train too much. It’s all about safety — when you get out on the fire ground you want to know what you’re doing and that the person behind you has got your back.” Anyone interested in becoming part of them team can contact the brigade on 0400 312 102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.