Fire re­view

Have your say on the ru­ral fire ser­vice

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS - ❏ Erica Mur­ree

WITH a re­view of ru­ral op­er­a­tions un­der way across the state, now is the time for Cen­tral andNorth Bur­nett com­mu­ni­ties to have a say in the way Ru­ral Fire Ser­vices are run and staffed over the next decade.

Any­one who deals with fire is urged to en­ter a submission to the re­view and help re­struc­ture the ser­vice as it looks to meet in­di­vid­ual com­mu­nity needs.

Ru­ral Fire Bri­gade of Queens­land pres­i­dent Mike Gar­rahy said the or­gan­i­sa­tion “needs the in­put of ev­ery vol­un­teer and ev­ery ru­ral and pri­mary pro­ducer bri­gade to en­sure ev­ery is­sue is raised and ad­dressed dur­ing the re­view”.

“If that does not hap­pen, vol­un­teers and the com­mu­ni­ties they sup­port could eas­ily miss out,” Mr Gar­rahy said.

Coringa Ru­ral Fire Bri­gade’s Al­bert Jones said there had been huge changes in the past 15 or 20 years in the meth­ods and equip­ment used to con­trol and fight fires.

“We have gone from fight­ing fires with lit­tle more than a wet bag to us­ing fully equipped trucks, trail­ers with pumps, ute slip-ons, and even ae­rial sur­veil­lance and water bomb­ing.

“We could not have done this with­out the as­sis­tance of our paid ru­ral op­er­a­tions staff. Th­ese changes in the past didn’t just hap­pen, and the changes in the fu­ture won’t just hap­pen.

“They re­quire a team of skilled, ded­i­cated peo­ple, work­ing be­hind the scenes to im­prove the safety of you and I, our pos­ses­sions and our coun­try. The Ru­ral Fire Bri­gade needs all the sup­port it can get.

“With the small team in Bund­aberg look­ing af­ter such a large area, it would be ridicu­lous to sug­gest that we could do with­out any of them. Any re­duc­tion in staff would se­ri­ously re­duce the ef­fec­tive­ness and effi- ciency of the Ru­ral Fire Bri­gade in this re­gion, and ul­ti­mately the safety of the fire­fight­ers on the ground as well as those they en­deav­our to pro­tect.”

At the same time, com­mu­ni­ties are en­cour­aged to show their sup­port by ty­ing a yel­low rib­bon where it can be eas­ily seen. RFBAQ rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mar­i­lyn King said Op­er­a­tion Yel­low was de­signed to get rib­bons out there.

“This is your chance to sup­port th­ese lo­cal vol­un­teers who tie the slip on, on the back of their utes, wear the yel­low coats, and drive the yel­low fire ap­pli­ances,” she said.

Bund­aberg and North Bur­nett sub­mis­sions and emails can be sent to Mar­i­lyn King at bund­aberg@rfbaq.org or mi­rani@par­lia­ment.qld.gov.au. ■ What do you think are the ar­eas of con­cern and achieve­ment for our lo­cal fire crews? Have your say at erica.mur­ree@cnbtimes.com.au.

Photo: Erica Mur­ree

YEL­LOW RIB­BONS: The Ru­ral Fire Bri­gade Bund­aberg rep Mar­i­lyn King with Coringa’s Rod Camp­bell and Al­bert Jones, are ask­ing for com­mu­nity sup­port – ty­ing yel­low rib­bons around trees and let­ter­boxes.

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