INTEREST in joining the CFA spiked in the wake of last summer’s devastating bushfires but local brigades are now faced with a new challenge – retaining that interest during the coronavirus pandemic.

Korumburra CFA captain Shane Maskell said the CFA had issued a directive to all brigades that all non-essential training and meetings were to be cancelled until future notice.

“We had heightened interest [in joining the CFA] post-bushfire season,” captain Maskell said.

“But the current situation has calmed them down a bit because people are staying away from things that are not essential to them right now.”

Captain Maskell said one person had gone through the process to become a member at Korumburra but could not undertake their basic training to attend call outs.

The CFA has introduced sign-in/sign-out sheets at stations, and requires members to use hand sanitiser when they arrive and leave. Sanitising wipes have also been placed in all vehicles and contact areas, such as steering wheels, must be wiped over after every use.

Captain Maskell said members were issued with their own Personal Protective Equipment which they had to keep clean and look after.

Shared equipment such as breathing apparatus was always cleaned well after use, he said.

“We just use our common sense. Everybody’s a little bit more careful.”