Hero gives inspiration
CAPTAIN Pat Kooyman has volunteered his time and efforts for 28 years and still loves giving time for his community.
This week, National Volunteer Week aims to pay tribute to Central Highlands’ volunteers like Pat who are regularly called upon to lend a helping hand to others.
Pat said he first volunteered for the State Emergency Service and Queensland Fire and Rescue service on March 20, 1983, in Biloela and has never looked back.
Since moving to Springsure 23 years ago, he has continued working with the SES and the QFRS as an urban firefighter in the area.
Just 18 months ago when Pat and his wife moved to a block of land outside Springsure, he added to his already full schedule by volunteering for the Zamia Rural Fire Brigade.
“Doing things for the community is the main reason I volunteer,” he said. “I do it for them but also get to meet a lot of people in the job.
“I gain a lot of knowledge from the people I meet and build on my own knowledge then.”
In 2008 Pat received recognition for his volunteer work, being awarded with Regional Fire Officer of the Year for the central district but said he was not in the position for the reward.
“Volunteering is very important to me as part of the community,” Pat said. “I want to be there for them and I take my roles very seriously.”
“I definitely recommend to everyone to step up and have a go themselves at volunteering.
“It doesn’t have to be SES or the fire service, it can be anything - any volunteer organisation in the local community. There is always something people can give to an organisation.”
The theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week is inspiring the volunteer in you, which is aimed at inspiring more people to step forward and lend a hand.