As emergency volunteers across Australia are being celebrated this week, a father whose sons have followed his path volunteering at Geraldton Marine Rescue opens up about the family passion. The Change Makers, is this year’s theme for National Volunteer Week, aimed at acknowledging volunteers who take action and give their energy and time for the good of the community. Marine Rescue Geraldton assistant commander and rescue skipper Lee Rausch has volunteered in emergency services for 28 years and assisted in the latest fatal incident on Sunday. Mr Rausch said he was tasked with assisting a civilian boat who rescued two men stuck at sea for four hours after their vessel sank. A 65-year-old man died at sea, while a 65-year-old man from NSW and a 29-year-old from Wonthella survived the ordeal. “To the other rescuers, they went above and beyond what anyone would expect to rescue the two survivors,” he said. Mr Rausch began volunteering as a firefighter in Dalwallinu, working his way up to the rank of captain before moving to Geraldton about six years ago. His two sons, restricted rescue skipper Tristan, 23 and senior crew member Sebastian, 17, both volunteer for GMR as well. Mr Rausch has assisted in a variety of rescues from assisting wind surfers in Geraldton to fishing vessel accidents at the Abrolhos Islands, but said he mainly dealt with recovering broken down vessels. Mr Rausch was tasked with a body recovery in Lucky Bay, which Geraldton Marine Rescue were awarded a finalist for in the 2022 WA Fire and Emergency Services Awards (Marine Rescue Team Achievement Award). Mr Rausch said as well as being a family who always loved the ocean and water sports, his sons enjoyed volunteering because it surrounded them with like-minded people in a supportive environment. “I guess they want to maybe follow in their father’s footsteps, or they can see that volunteers do a great job,” he said. “It’s not about recognition. For me, it’s more self satisfaction and I hope that’s what the kids are doing it for as well.” On Wednesday, March 17, 155 of WA’s long-serving volunteers were honoured at the annual Volunteer Service Awards.