The ESVA along with the other volunteer associations are members of the WA Emergency Services Volunteers’ Hardship Assistance Scheme.
Launched in October 2015, the HAS was awarded a grant from the WA Government as start-up capital to be invested and generate interest, which could then be used to fund the scheme.
The scheme exists to provide emergency services volunteers with the opportunity to seek financial assistance during times of hardship. It is designed to help cover basic living costs such as rent, food and utilities. Financial assistance is not provided for expenses arising as a result of living beyond one’s means, or to clear gambling incurred debt, or to fund lifestyle choices. The HAS has been set up to assist volunteers who are a member of an emergency services group created under the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1998; Bush Fires Act 1954; or the Fire Brigades Act 1942.
Hardship is when a volunteer is unable to meet minimum living expenses because of unexpected or unforseen events, such as:
- Loss of work or reduction of work hours
- Illness or death of family member
- Relationship breakdown
- Accidental injury or illness
- Emergency event or natural disaster
Up to $5,000 worth of assistance can be provided to meet living expenses such as utility bills, rent or mortgage, medical expenses, funeral expenses, etc to help a member or their surviving dependants overcome the hardship and return to normal circumstances.
More information is available at the WA ESVHAS website, including how to apply or how to make a donation to the HAS.