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Age no barrier for CFA vols
A retired couple living on the Mornington Peninsula watched the devastation caused by the February 2009 bushfires and decided they wanted to make a difference through volunteering.
Reg and Marion Richardson approached the Baxter Fire Brigade to explore the possibility of volunteering their time to support activities that would free up operational members, allowing them to focus on and perform their primary role as firefighters.
“We were too old to climb on fire trucks or brandish hoses so we asked whether there was a requirement for support volunteers to help out in any other capacity,” Reg said.
They soon became CFA members and one of their first tasks was undertaking the annual inspection of hydrants in Baxter’s assignment areas.
“As there are in excess of 500 hydrants, this would have been a very time-consuming task for our operational members,” Marion said.
“We have been carrying out these checks for the last four years and have seen the serviceability of hydrants increase from 47 percent to 91 percent, bringing better protection for Baxter and the surrounding communities.”
After kicking off to a great start, Reg and Marion took on their next task which was to prepare fire safety plans for all businesses in the Baxter area.
“A detailed list was produced that included associated maps and photos in hard copy for use in the fire trucks and in digital format for training purposes,” Reg said.
Amongst several other valuable projects they’ve undertaken for the brigade and the community, fund raising is a key area they’re involved in – raising as much as they can for the Baxter Fire Brigade to assist it with delivering the best possible service to the community.
Reg and Marion are extremely modest about their dedication to CFA and say it’s all about giving back to the community.
“Volunteering has provided us with the opportunity to do something worthwhile by helping our community in some small way,” Marion said.
“It also gives older citizens the chance to actively engage with younger men and women and this in itself can only benefit seniors.
“We feel useful in retirement and are contributing to an essential community organisation – the CFA.”
***Reg and Marion Richardson, CFA volunteers, are being profiled as part of a special series focusing on volunteers to celebrate National Volunteer Week May 12-18.