News & Media

Back from the brink

By: CFA News

Category: People, Training & Recruitment

  8.24 AM 8 January, 2018

Location: District 5 News

Views: 3118

Warrayure-Moutajup Fire Brigade is between Hamilton and Dunkeld on the Glenelg Highway.

Over the past five years, many local farmers have retired or farms have changed ownership and the brigade lacked firefighters and a succession plan.

By Everard Linke, Warrayure-Moutajup brigade

The brigade has burnt the Glenelg Highway roadside reserves and shire roads almost every year for the past 70 years. All phalaris growth on the road reserves is slashed by farmers to reduce flame height and increase safety. This is one of the major strategic fire breaks in the district.

In late 2014, CFA’s Brigade Sustainability team held several meetings with the brigade to generate enthusiasm within the brigade and improve its sustainability. However, renewed interest was not forthcoming and the brigade was in a situation of not being able to fill all the office bearer positions at the next election.

In April 2016, it was decided to visit people in their homes to increase support for the brigade.

“There are about 30 houses within the footprint, so there was a very limited number of people available to join the brigade,” said Volunteer Sustainability Team Member Jacquie Chapman.

Now, there are eight new members (pictured) including a new secretary, a fourth lieutenant community safety, a health and safety representative, several firefighters and brigade support members.

“For a brigade that was looking at either merging with another brigade or even facing closure, to be able to recruit eight new members is a fantastic achievement,” said Jacquie.

New members are in the process of basic training at the VEMTC Penshurst campus in time for summer and other emergencies. Also, experienced members think it’s important to communicate often with the newer members to encourage them and discuss new ideas.

Many thanks to Operations Officer Andrew Barry for encouraging the brigade.

Photo by Jacquie Chapman

Last Updated: 08 January 2018