‘Hey Scott Morrison’ Rural firey calls out PM
FINDING a dead cow stuck in the mud after a 14-hour day fighting fires is Calliope Rural Fire Brigade first officer Jason Polzin's reality.
The construction worker and hobby farmer has fought five fires in the past fortnight, which has required him to work 21-hour days on four occasions in the past week alone.
He has never asked for anything for his seven years of service, but finding the cow in the dam, where it died helplessly, struck a chord.
"It's heart breaking," Jason said.
The cow is "at least a $1000" hit for the farmer and was worth even more with the calf it was carrying.
"I can't afford to replace her and there's no use buying another cow with no feed," he said.
Despite having a 55-hectare home block and two lease blocks, there is no feed for his 40-head of cattle and he has to buy them hay, which can cost $190 a bale.
After having to drag the cow from the dam to prevent his water supply from being contaminated, he took to Facebook to vent his frustrations.
"Hey Scott Morrison … Apparently all of us volunteers love fighting fires so much that we just jump in a truck and enjoy it," he wrote.
"Well here is some reality for you! Us volunteers help out us fellow Australians no ifs, no buts.
"I have only had time to feed my cattle and not check the water sources and this is what l had to do today!"
While volunteering is an option, Jason and his crew gave its all to ensure the wellbeing of the community.
"We work 21 hours on one day until we had a crew to relieve us - it's not like we can leave whenever we want otherwise we waste the last 20 hours," he said.
Jason is a contractor and every day he chooses to fight fire instead of work, he doesn't get paid.
While thank you notes and friendly faces in the community have been his motivation, he said some sort of compensation would be nice.
With three blocks of land, he contributes $210 a year to the fire levy through his rates. After volunteering for hundreds of hours he said foregoing the amount would be good.
Being from a farming family, helping others is in his blood and it's an activity he does with his wife and son.
While he would never stop helping others he said seeing more recognition for rural firefighters would go a long way in motivating exhausted rural teams who were volunteering their time out of the goodness of their hearts.