CFA service recognised
Seymour CFA volunteer Mick Sanderson has been lauded for his contribution to the organisation during more than 60 years.
Mr Sanderson was recently presented with a special plaque of appreciation to recognise his service to the CFA, Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) and Victorian Urban Fire Brigade Association (VUFBA).
At 79 years young, the recently retired president of the VFBV District 12 council wants to continue volunteering with Seymour Fire Brigade as long as he can.
Mr Sanderson is in charge of the brigade’s fire and equipment maintenance, and is one of the junior leaders and has introduced his children and grandchildren to competitions.
‘‘I still enjoy it; I like going along and meeting everyone in the brigade and doing my bit for the community,’’ he said.
In 1956 he joined the Seymour brigade and, apart from a brief absence due to work, he’s been there ever since.
During the years Mr Sanderson has added to the CFA volunteer capacity in responding to major incidents across Victoria.
‘‘I’ve been around my share of the state,’’ he said.
‘‘That’s one of the advantages of having volunteers; we all help out when needed.’’
The fire that sticks most vividly in his memory was none other than Black Saturday.
‘‘It started about 30 minutes away from here and I was involved from the word go,’’ he said.
‘‘It was a hard day.’’
But despite his decadeslong commitment to the CFA, the veteran volunteer is somewhat worried proposed changes to fire services could threaten the future of fire fighting in regional communities like Seymour.
He fears the government’s proposal to restructure CFA would take fire services backward, cost big money and result in fewer volunteers on the ground, delivering a crushing blow to Victoria’s capacity to deal with major fires.
‘‘You’ve got to have the volunteers; the taxpayers couldn’t afford to replace them,’’ he said.
‘‘If we don’t have CFA volunteers in the community we’re going to fall apart. I wouldn’t have stuck with it if I didn’t think it was important.’’
Appreciation: Veteran Seymour CFA volunteer Mick Sanderson (left) was recently presented with a special plaque to recognise his service to the CFA, Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) and Victorian Urban Fire Brigade Association (VUFBA).