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Barnawartha prepares township
On Wednesday 15 January, Barnawartha brigade held a Fire Ready meeting for the town and surrounding districts with Robert Scott from Benalla as the presenter.
A BBQ was held before the meeting so that locals who attended could have a chat and get to know brigade members and ask general questions.
The evening was an outstanding success with over 45 people attending the meeting. As other brigades can relate to, usually brigades would have five to eight locals attending a meeting such as this and brigade members are so eager to help these people that in the end we scare them off with our over eagerness! You also resign yourself to the fact that in the end it will be a BBQ social evening for the brigade members attending as hardly anyone turns up.
Captain Howard Smith attributed a lot of the success of the evening to having a few brigade members visit high-risk property owners within the town boundary beforehand and offering them advice and inviting them to the meeting. This, combined with radio advertisin and having a good old A frame board advertising the event at the town's roundabout (and of course word of mouth), proved to be very successful advertising tools.
Presenter Robert Scott's message to the Barnawartha local attendees was basically don't be complacent, understand your area, know your brigade members and don't expect the fire truck to turn up at your place if the town is threatened or in danger of fire, as the appliances will be out trying to prevent the danger reaching the township and surrounding areas.
Robert gave a good presentation and brigade members felt that by the end of the meeting locals had a better understanding of their obligations to themselves, their families and pets, their property and their community. Robert also gave the locals the opportunity after the meeting to talk and ask questions to himself and brigade members.
Barnawartha brigade members think that, finally, they are having some success in getting the message out there, and there will be another meeting before the fire season comes to a close.