Fam­ily cheer as fire chief sur­prised

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - ABBY BROWN

Mata­mata fire chief Kevin Cur­tis thought it was strange his daugh­ters were at­tend­ing a lo­cal Li­ons meet­ing held at his fire sta­tion.

He thought it was even stranger that his mother and fa­ther-in-law were there at the De­cem­ber 9 event.

When for­mer fire chief, and Li­ons mem­ber, Garry Stan­ley pre­sented Kevin with a Melvin Jones Fel­low­ship, the most pres­ti­gious award the Li­ons can give, the penny dropped.

‘‘Forty years of mem­ber­ship of any or­gan­i­sa­tion is sig­nif­i­cant but the com­mit­ment in­volved in the role of a vol­un­teer fire­fighter is pretty much un­par­al­leled in any other or­gan­i­sa­tion,’’ Garry said.

‘‘No other or­gan­i­sa­tion that I know of re­quires its vol­un­teers to be on call for 24 hours, seven days a week and to ful­fil that re­spon­si­bil­ity for 40 years is a tremen­dous achieve­ment.’’

On top of that, Garry said, all fire­fight­ers are re­quired to at­tend 66 per cent of all weekly train­ings and other musters.

In the 40 years Kevin has been a mem­ber there were 2,872 such musters, of which he achieved an av­er­age at­ten­dance record of 94.74 per cent and in 14 of those years, achieved 100 per cent at­ten­dance.

Garry ac­knowl­edged Kevin’s wife and daugh­ters for their sup­port.

‘‘A fire­fighter can­not func­tion for any length of time with­out the full sup­port of his wife and fam­ily and you have will­ingly pro­vided that sup­port. Thank you for that Carol and thank you also to your two lovely daugh­ters Leanne and Natalie who have had to tol­er­ate the un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing fam­ily events.’’

The only other Mata­mata fire bri­gade mem­ber who has re­ceived the award, for serv­ing the sta­tion for forty years, was War­ren Feek in 2014.

The Li­ons also gave Cur­tis a cheque for $2,500 which will go to­wards buy­ing a Stab-fast sta­bil­i­sa­tion sys­tem.

This is a sta­biliser that can be at­tached to crashed, over­turned ve­hi­cles.

‘‘At the mo­ment we use crib­bing, which is ba­si­cally tim­ber, and you have to have one crew mem­ber con­stantly check­ing it is hold­ing,’’ Kevin ex­plained.

Wal­ton School also do­nated $125 to the fire bri­gade from their re­cent disco.


Mata­mata fire chief Kevin Cur­tis’ mother-in­law Betty Stuck, daugh­ter Leanne Cur­tis, wife and Li­ons sec­re­tary Carol Cur­tis, daugh­ter Natalie Cur­tis and fa­therin-law Rus­sell Stuck all at­tended a Li­ons meet­ing at his sta­tion where he was sur­prised with the Melvin Jones Fel­low­ship.

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