CFA ser­vice recog­nised

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS -

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).

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