A life­line given to ru­ral fire brigade

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Philippe Co­querand philippe.co­querand@cnbtimes.com.au

THE re­gion is in the grip of bush­fire sea­son and the Auburn-Biron Fire Brigade is even more pre­pared than usual to han­dle the chal­lenges thrown their way.

The brigade re­cently re­ceived a $1000 grant to buy three UHF ra­dios.

Busi­ness own­ers Kevin and Kerry Ca­vanough thought it was a wor­thy cause and do­nated an ex­tra two UHF ra­dios to the fire brigade, bring­ing the to­tal to five.

“It’s a good cause for the ru­ral fire brigade, you never know when you need them so we’re happy they can come in handy,” Mr Ca­vanough said.

“We’ve had a lot of fires down south where a lot of blokes died, it’s def­i­nitely a wor­thy cause.

“We live out in the bush, you never know when you need them, they do it all on their own.”

Auburn-Biron Fire Brigade first of­fi­cer An­drew Vi­cary said the ra­dios would help out the team im­mensely.

“Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is a key thing when you have an ab­sence of mo­bile phone cov­er­age in the area,” Mr Vi­cary said.

“With all those fires last year we were run­ning out and some were giv­ing us trou­ble and not work­ing, and with the hills, you’ve got to have them close be­cause you can’t pick any­thing up.”

The UHF ra­dios can pro­vide com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween towns.

“With­out go­ing through a repeater they’ll travel around 17km,” Mr Ca­vanough said.

“Through a repeater they can travel quite far, that’s through old flag coun­try, in the hilly coun­try it’ll cut it right back to around five kilo­me­tres.

“It all de­pends on the ter­rain but it’s much bet­ter than mo­bile phone cov­er­age.”

The Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice Queens­land is the vol­un­teer fire fight­ing arm of Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices and pro­vides fire man­age­ment for ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties across ap­prox­i­mately 93 per cent of the state.

PHOTO: PHILIPPE CO­QUERAND

Kerry Ca­vanough and Auburn-Biron Fire Brigade’s An­drew Vi­cary.

PHOTO: ALIS­TAIR BRIGHTMAN

FIRE SEA­SON: The Auburn-Biron Fire Brigade is on the look­out for more vol­un­teers.

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