Brigade rises from ashes

Benalla Ensign - - Fire Action Week - By Si­mon Rup­pert

Lima South CFA has come a long way since May, when The En­sign re­ported on its strug­gle to re­cruit enough mem­bers to guar­an­tee at­ten­dance at emer­gen­cies.

At the time Lima South brigade, Cap­tain Robert White said the sta­tion only had 10 ac­tive fire­fight­ing vol­un­teers and that num­ber was sim­ply not enough to guar­an­tee get­ting the truck to ev­ery emer­gency.

How­ever, a suc­cess­ful recruitment drive has seen the num­ber of ac­tive mem­bers on the books in­crease to 30.

‘‘On May 26 the brigade held it’s elec­tion of of­fice bear­ers and the meet­ing was very well at­tended by the pub­lic,’’ Mr White said.

‘‘The team im­me­di­ately set about re­build­ing the brigade with nine new mem­bers added to the team.

‘‘Our mem­bers now have a range of skill sets to ful­fil the var­i­ous job roles re­quired within the brigade.

‘‘Th­ese in­clude com­mu­nity safety and en­gage­ment, OH&S, train­ing, ac­count­ing, record keep­ing, com­put­ing and tech­nol­ogy skills.

‘‘And not to for­get the prac­ti­cal hands-on peo­ple who of­ten do their work on the fire ground.’’

Mr White said an in­tense train­ing pro­gram had started in prepa­ra­tion for the com­ing fire sea­son, with five new mem­bers com­plet­ing their wild­fire fire­fight­ing com­pe­tency.

‘‘We have also gained three new tanker driv­ers in the process, which makes it much more likely we can get the truck out the door,’’ he said.

‘‘In a sense, we have come up out of the ashes and are bet­ter po­si­tioned to serve the com­mu­nity in the fu­ture.

‘‘We still have a lot of work to do but are now a more vi­brant and vi­able brigade.’’

Mr White also wants to re­mind the pub­lic of the three steps to get ready for fire sea­son:

1. Clean up around your home and all out­build­ings;

2. Have a plan — write it down.

3. Be pre­pared — make sure you know how to en­act your plan.

Lima South will be hold­ing an open day on Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm at the Lima South brigade shed, 3237 Midland Hwy.

All mem­bers of the com­mu­nity are in­vited to meet and chat with CFA mem­bers.

The open day in­cludes a free sausage siz­zle and an op­por­tu­nity for chil­dren to meet Cap­tain Koala.

For more in­for­ma­tion phone Lima South 2nd Lieu­tenant Ross Coles on 0417 351 304.

Num­bers up: Lima South CFA has ben­e­fited from a recruitment drive.

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